PT eDigest

PTD1014_SittingPlease Do Not Be Seated

Is sitting really bad for you? In a word: Yes. An emerging body of data says that sitting, one of the most relaxed of all human activities, is actually bad for your health. How bad can it be? The medical literature reports that sitting improperly or for too long causes back damage, reduces brain functionality and leads to muscle degeneration that shortens your life.

Scared yet? You should be. For people who work in jobs that require them to sit for most of the day or for people who enjoy a nice long sit on the couch reading a book or watching television, the consequences of sitting for too long should be a serious concern. Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with the health risks.

  • Sit on an exercise ball or a backless stool. These seats will enforce proper posture and reduce the risks associated with sitting improperly. A properly aligned back will prevent the development of back pain and the inconsistencies in blood-flow that cause changes in blood flow to your upper and lower extremities.
  • Take frequent walking breaks. At work, get up and move a bit during your breaks. If you are at home watching television, you might want to consider getting up and taking a short walk around the room during commercial breaks. Even a little bit of movement minimizes some risks.
  • Stretch your hip flexor muscles. Perform this exercise every day for three minutes on each side.
  • Stand up whenever possible. If you have the vaguest excuse to stand, use it. Turn standing into a habit.
  • Try yoga. Many yoga poses can help counter the effects of long-term sitting. The yoga pose known as the “cow-cat” is particularly effective for overall back stretching.

Talk to us about your personal circumstances. Because everyone’s life is different, we can design a specific program of exercises and techniques that fits your individual needs and challenges.

Download the PTe Digest for October 2014