Prolonged Sitting

Image of a man slouched at a bar table

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.

Neurological link

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.

Poor posture?

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.

Take action

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

Contact us

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 info@spineandhealth.com.au

Here are the references to the above-mentioned research studies:

[1] The Neurochemically Diverse Intermedius Nucleus of the Medulla as a Source of Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Input to the Nucleus Tractus SolitariiIan

[2] J. Edwards, Mark L. Dallas, Sarah L. Poole, Carol J. Milligan, Yuchio Yanagawa, Gábor Szabó, Ferenc Erdélyi, Susan A. Deuchars, Jim Deuchars

[3] Journal of Neuroscience 1 August 2007, 27 (31) 8324-8333; DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0638-07.2007

Osteoporosis and Bone health part 2 – This article focuses on other lifestyle factors and the role they play in bone health for youth.

bone health

Bone Health and Youth.

Building bones early in life Our last blog spoke of the importance of nutrition to maximise Bone Health and help prevent Osteoporosis or Metabolic bone disease. Today we will outline other factors such as lifestyle and activity, especially for youth.

 

 

Building bones in early life.

For optimal Bone Health, the most crucial time to lay down the foundations of our bones is in the years before we reach our mid-twenties. As outlined by the International Osteoporosis foundation “Approximately half of our bone mass is accumulated during adolescence.” Our genetics will determine up to 80% of the variability in individuals peak bone mass. Factors such as nutritional intake and physical activity will help develop optimal bone strength.

Calcium and protein-rich nutrition boost bone development.

Getting adequate calcium and protein especially between 9 – 18 years old will help reach adequate Bone Health.

The peak age for bone building for girls in 12.5 years and boys is 14 years.

Getting enough of the sunshine vitamin.

Due to an increasingly indoor lifestyle, young people often will not get adequate amounts of vitamin D. Parents can help children maintain a healthy level of this key vitamin. This is done by ensuring children spend more time outdoors playing and being physical, rather than inside on screens. The recommended daily dose of Vit D is 800-1000IU daily.

According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM)USA, the recommended daily intake of key nutrients is as follows:

1 – 3 years

700mg calcium and 13g of protein

4 – 8 years

1000mg calcium and 19g of protein

9 – 13 years

1300mg calcium and 34g of protein

14 – 18 years

1300mg calcium and 46g of protein for girls and 52g of protein for boys

Exercise and lifestyle matter.

Physical activity is most important for youth to enhance bone density as young people who exercise regularly show a significant increase in bone mass. However physical activity and diet work hand in hand for people of all ages to enhance bone development.

All information from this information article was sourced from the International Osteoporosis Foundation. You can find more details on the below link. If you have questions about your child’s bone health please contact your local general practitioner or chiropractor for more information.

http://www.iofbonehealth.org/

Osteoporosis and bone health – The article suggests the role nutrition plays in bone health.

Osteoporosis and bone health

World Osteoporosis Day.

Every year in October marks the annual World Osteoporosis Day (WOD). As described by “Awarenessday” the day represents the launch of a year-long campaign. This campaign is dedicated to raising global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease. WOD is organized by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF).

As Chiropractors at Spine and Health we understand the importance of strong, healthy bones. We are committed to raising awareness of this preventable disease.

Here are the facts and some take-home guidelines to use and share with your loved ones. You can download the PDF from www.iofbonehealth.org.

Below is a great summary of what you can do, specific to nutrition.

Osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a bone disease which occurs when the body doesn’t make adequate bone or loses too much bone. As a result the bone becomes thin, fragile and more prone to breaks. Worldwide 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will suffer a fragility fracture (broken bone) due to osteoporosis (reference).

Nutrients.

There are a few key nutrients which are involved in keeping up our bone health. It is important to maintain a healthy and nutritious diet so these nutrients are at their optimum. Please ensure you seek your general practitioner if you feel you might be deficient.

• Calcium.

A major building block of your skeleton, with an average of 99% of calcium can be found in our bones!
Good sources of calcium include, milk, natural yoghurt, hard cheese, raw broccoli, dried figs, and almonds.

• Vitamin D.

Vitamin D will assist in the absorption of calcium from food in the intestine. It will also ensure correct renewal and mineralisation of your bones. We make Vit. D through our skin when it is exposed to UV-B rays of sunlight. Due to our increasing indoor lifestyle, low levels of Vit. D are becoming more common. We can also obtain Vit. D through specific foods including: Wild Salmon, canned sardines and tuna, mushrooms and egg yolk.

• Protein.

In the peak period of bone growth during childhood and adolescence it is essential to ensure adequate protein intake. Low protein intake is detrimental, as protein provides us a source of essential amino acids necessary for health!
Protein undernutrition in senior years can also lead to reduced strength and muscle atrophy. A group that are most prone to developing osteoporosis and osteopenia.
Protein rich foods include dairy products, meat, fish, poultry, lentils, beans and nuts.

• Macronutrients.

Micronutrients are essential nutrients, required in trace amounts for normal health and functioning. These are 4 micronutrient that research has suggested are important to bone health:

    1. Vitamin K.

      Which is found in leafy green vegetable, spinach, cabbage and kale. Liver is an excellent source along with some fermented cheeses and dried fruit.

    2. Magnesium.

      Also found in leafy green veg, legumes, nuts, seeds, unrefined grains, fish and dried fruit. 50 grams of almonds provides 40% of your daily needs!

    3. Zinc.

      Found in lean red meat, poultry, pulses, legumes and dried fruit. Beans and chickpeas are also great plant sources.

    4. Carotenoids.

      50 grams of raw carrots will meet you daily needs. Carotenoids can also be found in many other vegetables, including leafy green vegetables ad red peppers.

 

Stay tuned for part two. Here we will provide you with a summary of the other factors related to Osteoporosis. Alternately please speak to any of our chiropractors in North Sydney or Crows Nest. They can advise you on what you can do to prevent these diseases.

You can contact Spine & Health at both North Sydney and Crows Nest.
Or reach out to us via our social media platforms Facebook, Instagram.