What are the health implications of prolonged sitting?
There are a few health concerns that can be linked to prolonged sitting. As explained by the Mayo Clinic and the World Health Organisation this includes a cluster of conditions that make up metabolic syndrome, including:
- Increased blood pressure
- Excess visceral fat and
- Abnormal cholesterol levels
- High blood sugar and insulin resistance
It is observed that prolonged sitting also seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. For further reading see Mayo Clinic
The below article looks at the impact prolonged sitting may have specifically on your blood pressure.
Studies have shown there is a neurological link between poor posture and increased blood pressure.
As your posture becomes more forward and slouched this puts more pressure on the heart and lungs, therefore, making them work harder than they need to.
Neuroscientists at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom reported in 2007 that neck muscle cells signal the brain when sensing movement in the neck, possibly ensuring adequate blood supply as the body changes posture. The system, however, breaks down when cells incur damage from poor posture, resulting in blood pressure either higher or lower than optimum.
The human body is designed to be upright and not engage in prolonged sitting. As a consequence of our increase in sedentary behavior, our bodies become more forward, this will erode our health on a daily basis. This can be anything from slouching at a computer or laptop, curling your spine over your iPhone, or spending too much time in a recliner or soft couch.
If you have a sedentary job or spend most of your day engaging in any of the above activities you may be at risk of undesirable conditions including high blood pressure. Speaking to your health expert is the next step you can take, as they can provide advice on how to make positive lifestyle changes.
There are a range of reasons why your posture can become more forward or slouched and it is important to address them. Apart from seeing a healthcare practitioner, there are lifestyle changes you can make to address poor posture. The Straighten Up App is a great tool to help promote better posture habits. This app is an initiative of the Australian Chiropractors Association and can be found here https://chiropractors.asn.au/straighten-up-app
You can call either our Crows Nest or North Sydney chiropractic clinic to speak to a licenced practitioner who may help you on the journey toward better posture.
North Sydney phone number: (02) 9955 8055
Crows Nest phone number: (02) 9460 8459
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are the references to the above-mentioned research studies: The Neurochemically Diverse Intermedius Nucleus of the Medulla as a Source of Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Input to the Nucleus Tractus SolitariiIan  J. Edwards, Mark L. Dallas, Sarah L. Poole, Carol J. Milligan, Yuchio Yanagawa, Gábor Szabó, Ferenc Erdélyi, Susan A. Deuchars, Jim Deuchars  Journal of Neuroscience 1 August 2007, 27 (31) 8324-8333; DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0638-07.2007