3 Dangers of Sitting Too Long & Tips To Counteract Them
It's not that the human body has changed much over the last few hundred years. It's that our habits and ways of living have changed. As Dr. James A Levine explains it, "We've gone from an agricultural lifestyle, in which we spent only a few hours each day sitting, to one in which the average American worker sits for 12 to 15 hours a day." At the end of the day, moderation is key, since standing too long as its own risks associated with it as well.
3 Dangers of Sitting Too Long
1. Lower energy: If you sit in one position for a long time, your body is tricked by the stillness and thinks it's time for sleep. If you don't sit with good posture and hunch over for example, that can cause pain and compress your lungs, furthermore depleting your energy. Also, if you stare at a TV or computer screen, you tend to blink less, putting strain on your eyes and causing dryness.
2.Reduced Mobility in Joints: Our entire body's mobility relies on the muscles around our hips. Without proper hip mobility, the body will find a way to compensate by finding a different way to move, using the low back and knees to do more of the work. Eventually it'll affect your upper arms and shoulders since your latissimus dorsi muscle connect to your pelvis and upper arm.
3. Posture Problems: Your posture can be affected in multiple ways if you sit with bad posture. Sitting for long periods of time can make back muscles tired and stiff causing back pain. With bad posture you are at higher risk for upper and low back pain from excessive strain. Poor posture could also put pressure on nerve tissue of spinal bones and eventually cause chronic pain.
3 Tips for Counteracting Sitting Too Long
1. Lower Energy- Take mini-breaks from sitting throughout the day and move about.
2. Reduced Mobility in Joints: Invest in a standing desk. They've been found to reduce back and neck pain, reduce the risk of heart attack ⁄ heart disease, and increased productivity.
3. Posture problems: Better posture = better core strength. Exercise can help you improve your posture. Avoid slouching in your chair and try distributing your weight evenly when sitting. Since we sit upright against gravity, make an effort to sit in a position that puts the least strain on the muscles supporting the spine. You can even place a small pillow behind your lower back or invest in a specialized lumbar support cushion. For head support, keep your feet flat on the floor with your knees at nearly a right angle.