I'm often asked by patients about what they can do to prevent acute or chronic back pain. Moving every day is vital! Not just rolling out of bed, sitting in your car while driving to work, sitting 8-10 hours at work, then sitting again on your commute home, and sitting on the couch to watch TV before bed. As a nation in general, we sit too much, hence the new "sitting is the new smoking" campaign. Sitting diseases are a real thing. We just aren't moving enough anymore. There's even a #sittingisthenewsmoking hashtag!
Sitting diseases are shown to reduce your life expectancy.
What are sitting diseases:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Breast and colon cancers
You also have an increased risk of:
- Forward head posture
- Forward rounded shoulders
- Thoracic hyperkyphosis
- Tight psoas = low back pain
- Deconditioned core and spinal musculature
Your chances of developing a sitting disease increases the more sedentary you are.
For more information, check out this article I wrote titled, 'Standing up for your Health' in 2012.
What Can You Do?
1. Change your desk!
Alternatives to traditional desks:
- Standing desks
- Treadmill desks
- Half kneeling at your desk
- Improved posture
- Improved blood flow
- Possible increase in productivity and energy levels
- Burn more calories
2. Bike/Walk to work if at all possible. If not daily, then try a few days per week
3. Set a timer to get up every 30 minutes to stretch and move around. Many new activity trackers will alert you when you've been inactive for a certain period of time.
4. Get up during commercials at home to do chores or perform squats, jumping jacks, etc.
Next blog topic will cover stretches and specific exercises to keep your spinal muscles and joints healthy!
*Main image source: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/sitting-standing-walking-work