Sitting is NOT the New Smoking – July 2017
A number of newspaper articles over the past few years have reported that sitting is the new smoking. Meaning that sitting is more dangerous than smoking is and will shorten our life span more quickly than smoking will.
The truth is, yes, prolonged sitting can cause severe and debilitating back and neck pain, but the statement is inaccurate and misleading.
A recent article in The Conversation reported that rather than being the “new smoking,” we need to think of sitting as an important part of the wider problem of lack of physical activity. Prolonged inactivity can definitely lead to type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and certain types of cancer.
A better message that is widely accepted is that we need to move more and sit less every day. The benefits of regular and moderately exertive exercise are very well established and are independent of how long we are sitting.
Chiropractors know that movement is the answer. The body is made for movement. After the chiropractor gets your spine moving then it is up to you to keep it moving and not sit for too long.
If you work in an office then you can watch this video to find out how long you spend sitting each day. The facts will surprise you.
So if I am sitting at work all day then what else can I do besides exercise to help my spine and health?
• Get your spine a regular ‘tune-up’ adjustment to keep it flexible and your nerves functioning at their best
• Sit on a balance disc – with tall posture and subtle movements to tone up core muscles. ($30 at our clinic)
• Sit on a fit ball. This has the same effect as the balance disc.
• Take regular movement and walking breaks
• Visit the Chiropractors Association of Australia sitright.com.au webpage for some great tips on correct sitting posture
Stand up Desk Tips
Adjustable desks that allow a sitting and standing are a great option (sit-stand desks) could be a good first step, especially for very sedentary office workers.
• Ease yourself into using it slowly by varying with sitting
• Make sure the height and ergonomics are right
• Watch your posture – stand tall, lift your chest, tuck your chin in slightly, use a foot stool alternating legs
• Wear comfortable shoes with chiropractic recommended Sole Revolution Orthotic inner soles, which are available at LHCC, or use a foot roller
Remember that having a standing desk isn’t a complete solution as owners still don’t expend much energy using them. You will still have to schedule regular exercise sessions!
What if my spine is already in pain from prolonged sitting, poor posture or traumatic injuries?
Chiropractors are well qualified and trained to quickly assess your spinal health and provide the chiropractic care needed to improve it. Click here for our LHCC introductory assessment to see if you have a spinal problem.
LHCC chiropractic help includes guidance on exercises that, when done regularly, will help to strengthen your muscles and maintain improved posture.
For further information read what the CAA has to say on sitting is the new smoking.
We also recommend that you download the CAA Straighten Up App. Watch the video on it here.
Features of the App:
• Set reminders to receive notifications about sitting right, stretching, taking breaks, drinking water and improving your posture.
• Exercises: A 3-minute spinal health program designed to improve spinal health, stablise core muscle groups and enhance health.
• Locate a Chiropractor: The app shows local chiropractic association chiropractors on a map and also as a list