These days, in modern society, it is impossible not to sit. Even if you are a reasonably active person you still sit to eat, sit to drive, sit to work and so on. Studies have shown we spend about 80% of our day seated. This is very bad news for your spine and health.
If you look at nature, there is no such thing as a naturally existing chair. The chair is something that humans have created for their own comfort. Without this, we would be forced to squat or spend more time standing.
In a squatted position we open our hips and pelvis, strengthen and straighten the spine and keep the legs active and energised.
When we stand, we activate our core muscles, stabilise through the feet and use our postural muscles to keep the spine upright.
On the contrary, when we sit, we completely shut down these important aspects of our posture and slip into our weakest position. The average person who sits will completely switch off their core, lose connection with their feet into the floor, roll into their lower back and hunch their shoulders forward to compensate.
Our CA's Steph and LA know the importance of taking regular stretching breaks when working at a computer
Our Chiropractors often explain to patients that...
"Injury doesn't always come from one big incident, mostly it comes from 100s of small incidents built up over many years." -Dr. Ian Rossborough
One of the most common problems we see in our practice is low back pain and shoulder/mid-back pain. It makes sense that when we spend 80% of our time in a posture that is detrimental to spinal health, these parts of the spine start to dysfunction over time.
Here are 3 ways you can balance out the affects of sitting:
1. Take regular breaks. If your job requires sitting for a long time, set an alarm for every 30 minutes to remind you to get up and MOVE. Walk, swing your arms, take a small back bend, look up to the ceiling and twist side to side. (See picture of Steph and LA above.) Do some lunges or squats to strengthen your legs and open your hips and actively engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine.
2. Exercise regularly. The worst thing you can do after 9 hours of sitting all day, is go home and flop on the couch. Balance out the time you are sedentary by taking up a Yoga class, going for a walk, hitting the gym...anything to keep moving!
3. Change your chair. Many people invest big bucks in the 'spinal support' chairs with a big firm back. Whilst aspects of this are good, it encourages us to slip into the support of the chair rather than use our own postural muscles to hold us up. All of the CA's and Doctors at Chiropractic Excellence use simple stools on wheels. This forces us to sit up straight using our own core strength and use our legs and hips to move wheel the stool around. Stability balls are also popular for this reason.
At the end of the day, you and you are alone are responsible for your health. So be informed of the dangers of prolonged sitting, take an active role in balancing out these affects and keep moving. Our bodies are designed to move not sit. The reason we feel 'old' is not because of the number on our birth certificate, but the reducation of movement in our daily lives. Get up out of that chair and stand up for your health. Your body and your Chiropractor will thank you!
All the best in health and happiness,
The team at Chiropractic Excellence