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I know for me, sitting is starting to become a problem-whether the reason is that I do it too much, or that my couch is causing me pain. The more I read on the subject, the more reasons I find that point to the fact that sitting too much can be detrimental to our overall health, causing increased instances of certain diseases, the wasting of our leg, hip and back muscles and increasing our chances for diminished mental health. Let’s explore why it’s so bad and then what we can do about it.
According to one article I read on the Better Health Channel, if you sit for extended periods of time, your leg and gluteal muscles will atrophy, your hip flexor muscles will shorten, and the discs in your spine will compress-due to the bad posture we exhibit while sitting in the wrong position for hours on end. I can tell some of these things (or maybe all) are happening to me by the way my back hurts in the morning, my hips ache when I try to do my morning stretches and sometimes, after rising, my legs feel like they may give out from under me when I start to walk! This is not good!!
Sitting too long also increases chances of getting varicose veins, DVT (deep vein thrombosis) heart disease and diabetes, as well as certain types of cancer. Some studies suggest that people who sit more than others have a 147% chance of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
Another symptom I have and have previously talked about is the stiff shoulders and neck muscles from sitting hunched over a computer screen. This is why I tried the text talking, however, I still found myself sitting and leaning over to be heard. I have to find another way. The answer is of course-standing.
The body was built to stand on two legs, upright, so that our internal organs function properly. If you find yourself sitting too much during the day, there is still time to turn things around and gain more mobility and a better chance of remaining healthy. Find ways to move around more, like walking from the back of the parking lot at the grocery store. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, don’t sit for hours on end without several breaks to get up and move around.
Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise regimen if you are new to activity, don’t let bad weather stop you from moving, you can still do body weight exercises like sit-ups and lunges, squats and side bends, or go to the local mall and just walk around. I need to take this advice myself, even taking the dogs for a short walk a day can help myself and them too. Whiskey is getting a little chubba wubba 🙂
Around the house we can all do things like making several trips to put up all the laundry, dust more frequently, set a limit on tv watching-or watch while standing up and performing kitchen duties. Walk and talk on the phone, listen to books rather than sit and read, while gardening or on a walk, do your ironing while watching your favorite shows. I for one, need to incorporate more exercise in my day, by first doing a better stretching routine and maybe some weight lifting, along with longer walks and less tv time at night. I also need to get a new couch!!
What ways can you think of to sit less and move more? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Us writers have to stick together and help each other out. You know we sit too much, in general, and usually it’s also in the wrong position, or with bad posture in general. I sit on a chair with my legs crossed over each other while typing on the computer. This is because my office is not set up properly, and I am not using a typical writing desk, nor am I sitting in my chair the right way, but rather, sitting on the edge of it. When we can afford it, I have been contemplating getting one of those new standing desks and trying that out. How do you sit, and do you get up and move after a certain time goes by?
I can’t afford to get some disease, have a heart attack or lose the use of my legs, can you? Let’s nip this in the bud and come up with useful ways to incorporate more movement in our days. Excuse me, but I’m off to get a leg up on dinner by putting a chicken in the crock pot-see you all tomorrow for Flashback Thursday…now get up and take a break!