Get Up & Stand – Sitting Will Cut Your Life Short!

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By Dr. Sender Deutsch
Published on October 31, 2016

sitting painSitting has become one of the worst addictive habits in our society.  Sitting has health consequences that are similar to that of smoking, drinking, and poor nutritional habits.  As most jobs require being at a desk all day – this action alone can negate the benefits of exercising.  Prolonged sitting leads to poor posture, back pain, and disc degeneration as well as serious issues such as blood clots from lack of blood circulation. When you sit, blood pools in your stomach and lower limbs and this can cause serious health concerns such as increased blood pressure, increased body fat and cholesterol levels, and obesity which is a serious condition known as metabolic syndrome.  Too much sitting has been linked to cardiovascular disease and a shorter life span.  

It is clear that sitting is not only bad for your back but for your spine as well. The number one discussion that I have with patients daily is encouraging them to stand. This could be as simple as creating a standing workstation . Take a plank of wood and place it across two filing cabinets, grab a bar type table and place your laptop or computer on top of it.  Make sure your standing workstation is at a nice neutral height for you.   Have the monitor at height where you have a slight downward gaze and arms are nice and neutral below ninety degrees. 

Taking frequent micro breaks from your desk is important.  We know that sitting in excess of fifteen to twenty minutes can lead to increased stress and strain on your discs, ligaments and tendons.  Staying in one position for too long is not good for your body.

Not only is a standing workstation effective for warding off health issues, it is also very effective for burning additional calories throughout the day.  As you stand, try to move side to side, and do lateral hip lunges, leg curls, leg swings, and other movements.  Make sure you still take breaks every twenty minutes to stretch your upper body backwards and wrists to prevent rounding of the chest and carpal tunnel syndrome form developing.  

Empower your fellow team members to get up and stand!  Standing workstations will create a healthier work environment for your team and they will ultimately become more productive with less work days lost due to back pain.

Sitting is a sign of laziness – Get up and stand!