Why sitting is so bad for you
You may have seen the Daily Mail headline at the weekend- “Sitting down is KILLING you”. While the Daily Mail is known for exaggeration, there is truth to the fact that sitting is bad for us. Steven Berkman gives the BOOST PHYSIO view on why sitting can be so damaging.
5 Reasons why sitting is so bad for you
- The body is a moving machine. Unfortunately many now spend 13 hours a day sitting, 8 hours in bed, and only 3hrs moving.
- Moving through the course of the day is the best way to continually burn any excess calories you consume.
- Remaining seated following meals, slows the rate the body burns excess sugar in the blood stream.
- Sitting stresses the joints, discs and ligaments in the lower back which can lead to back pain and worse.
- The more sedentary you are the more your muscles weaken and atrophy (shrink).
5 Ways to Counteract bad effects of sitting
Follow these 5 steps to minimise the negative impact of sitting:
- Stand from your chair every 30-45min for a short break.
- During telephone calls stand up and walk around.
- Use a pedometer or smartphone app to measure and track how many steps you take during an average day. (below 5,000 steps is sedentary with negative health impact).
- Avoid sitting on low, soft sofas for lengthy periods of time, this compresses the lumbar discs and stresses the ligaments in the spine.
- Use a lumbar roll to support the curve of the lower back when you do sit.