Is your chair killing you?
Did you know that even if you do the recommended 30-60 minutes of exercise per day that you could still be classified as sedentary? And that it could be affecting your health? In the 1950s studies discovered that workers who had active jobs were healthier than those who were primarily behind a desk, and thus the recommendations from health professionals was to build exercise in to our everyday lives.
The fact of the matter is that our bodies are designed to be active all the time.
We are not saying that you should stop doing your 30-60minute intensive exercise programs but what we are saying is that it is not enough. Current society aims at making everyday tasks easier and that eventually takes out our need to be active. We drive to work, sit on the train, order food to be delivered to our door, sit at work behind our computer and then to top it off to relax we lie on the couch and watch TV/read/play video games. All in all the average office worker spends only 73 minutes of their entire day standing (1).
Studies done all over the world, including by the Chiropractic Association of Australia have all come to a similar conclusion, and that is that we spend too much of our time sitting, which leads to poor posture, issues with balance and coordination, pain and even shortening our life expectancy (2, 3).
A current study based on Brisbane office workers is examining just how detrimental sitting for prolonged periods of time is to our health and is expected to follow global research that claims it leads to premature death(4). Prolonged sitting alters the shape and function of your body: slowing down the processing of fats, deteriorating the S curve and weakening your leg and back muscles (5). Furthermore it is being proven that the relationship between physical activity and contemporary chronic conditions is strong for things such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, colon cancer, obesity, and mental function (6). No matter your body weight or how much you exercise, if you sit too much you will still have an increased health risk (7) and an Australian study goes on to state that “each hour of daily television viewing is associated with an 11% increase in the risk of all-cause mortality regardless of age, sex, waist circumference, and physical activity” (8).
So what are current recommendations?
• Instead of trying to find the closest parking spot, park away from your venue and walk.
• Scandalous as they are, we do now have a lot of cycle paths in Sydney – use them!
• We need to strip back the technology that enables us to be lazy and learn to take the stairs instead of the escalators; walk to the station instead of getting a lift; go for a walk to wind down at night instead of being a couch potato.
• When you have coffee with a friend, make it to go and walk and talk instead of sitting
• You can do the same for lunch, grab walking friendly food like a chicken wrap and then walk, talk and munch!
This requires a shift in our way of thinking and by organizing your day in advance it is not only achievable but will make you healthier and happier.
In the interim, if you are truly attached to your chair at work, then the CAA offers a program to help you remember to stand – a widget. It offers exercises that you can do in the pop-ups that appear on your computer screen throughout the day. Click here for more information.
Alternatively a standing workstation is becoming more and more popular. We are designed to stand and now designers have created the Standing Work Station.
In order to maintain the natural position of muscles, ligaments, bones and internal organs, one must have proper posture. The repetitive position we place our bodies in by sitting all day puts a huge amount of load and stress on our bodies and is the main reason that we as a society have increasingly poor posture. The body has the capability to repair itself so long as there is nothing blocking the pathway, which is exactly what poor posture does. By maintaining good posture with the aid of chiropractic care, and living the newly defined active lifestyle, you will enable your body to perform at it’s best by reducing wear and tear of joints, relieving stress, improving overall health and enhancing your appearance.
Come and visit our chiropractors in one of our 4 locations: Crows Nest, Gladesville, Mosman or North Sydney. We are psoture chiropractors trained to relieve pain and improve posture through x-rays and posture scans. To start correcting your posture today please contact us at:
Don’t forget, an active spine is a healthy spine.