Is sitting disease actually a thing?

Is sitting disease actually a thing? Unfortunately, it is. Too much sitting may spell bad news for your health.

Chances are you’re reading this blog while sitting in a chair. Am I right? If you’re like most people, you’ve been sitting there awhile.

Think about how much you sit throughout the day: your commute to and from work, your 8 hour work day primarily seated at a desk, and unwinding in front of the TV after work. Where do you spend most of your time? Seated in a chair, couch, or bed? Also, with modern day technology, things we used to have to go out for, are now easily completed through the computer or an app. You can pay your bills, deposit checks, easily communicate with people via text/email/phone, order your meals, and even do all your shopping online – which means people are literally in danger of too much sitting.

Ongoing research shows that long periods of physical inactivity raise your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. In fact, the Mayo Clinic highlights studies that show the risks associated with sitting include high blood sugar, increased blood pressure, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. These issues could affect your day-to-day and will most definitely affect long-term health.

The human body is meant to move, but it’s so strange that we spend most of our days slouched in a chair. So how do we combat this sitting disease and lead a healthier life?

Get up and get moving! Here are some suggestions to get that body in motion.

  • Stand up. Take a break from sitting every 30 minutes. 
  • Stretch it out. Spend most of your time typing? Make sure to stretch those forearms, to avoid muscle knots. Don’t forget those legs either. Aim for 5-10 minutes of stretching hourly. Go ahead and stretch out your entire body because all the muscles are cramped. If you do it consistently, you’ll start to notice a difference.
  • Thirsty? Take a trip to the water cooler. You’ll get 2 birds with one stone. Keep yourself hydrated while making sure you move.
  • If you work at a desk, try a standing desk — or improvise with a high table or counter. Feeling extra ambitious? Try a treadmill station. Need something more compact and budget friendly? Try one of those under the desk cyclers or ellipticals. 
  • If they’re open to it, walk with your colleagues for meetings instead of sitting in a conference room.
  • Have extra time at lunch? Instead of chatting in the break room, take a brisk walk.
  • Stand while talking on the phone. If possible, instead of staying seated, pace around during that call. You’ll get the blood flowing and burn a few extra calories. All the little things add up.
  • Multitask while watching TV or playing games on your phone. Instead of plopping on the couch, brush the dust off your cardio equipment and get to walking or pedaling. 

Moving even a little each day can make a huge difference. For one, you’ll be burning more calories. This could lead to weight loss and an increase of energy. Physical activity also helps maintain muscle tone and your ability to move freely. This is especially important the older you get. And of course I have to mention that scheduling regular massages will also go a long way for your well-being. It’ll get your blood moving, release nervous energy, and relax those muscles, especially in your neck, back, and shoulders, which tend to get over-tightened after periods of prolonged sitting.

If you’re in the Hermosa Beach or South Bay area, come by to see me! I look forward to helping you!