You do all that you can to lead a healthy lifestyle. You’re very meticulous about what you put on your plate and in your body. You’re sure to stay hydrated, drinking at least 2 liters of water every day. You make sure that you get at least 7 hours’ sleep every night, and you do your best to visit the gym at least three times a week.
You try to avoid excessive alcohol, tobacco, and even the tempting sugary, fatty, and salty treats in the break room vending machine. By any metric, you lead a healthy life. However, there’s one thing that you’re doing every day that could be slowly undoing all the hard work you’re putting elsewhere.
Especially since you do so much of it every day.
We need to talk about sitting! Sitting is actually a relatively new configuration for the human body, and it’s one that we haven’t necessarily adapted well to. Especially in the amounts that our 21st-century lifestyle seems to necessitate.
Think about it! In the US, the average adult spends around 6 hours a day on their butt. We wake up in the morning, sit at the breakfast table, make our way to work in the car, sit at our desks all day, come home and collapse onto the sofa. Our lifestyles seem to be built around sitting. But it can make us vulnerable to a range of health risks. It can…
Exacerbate stress levels
If you have a stressful job, you may find that all that sitting makes it harder to avoid the effects of all your stress. The more sedentary our lifestyles are, the less opportunity we have to create stress-busting, mood-boosting chemicals like endorphins and serotonin which are usually created whenever we exercise.
Increase your risk of chronic diseases
Furthermore, when we spend all day sitting, it puts a lot of pressure on our internal organs, which can affect our bodies in ways that we’re still not entirely sure about. One thing we do know, however, is that when we spend all day seated, it can increase our risk of a range of chronic diseases including;
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Heart disease
- And even some forms of cancer
Cause back and shoulder pain
Day after day spent sitting can warp the alignment of the spine and lead to bad posture. This can change the way we walk, making us less stable and causing excess wear to our joints. It can also put pressure at key points on our neck and pack making our normal range of motion stiff and painful. Which is why a good Chiropractor can be your best defense against the discomfort, stiffness and limited mobility that our sedentary lifestyles can cause. They can also ensure that your body is optimally aligned so that you get the results you want at the gym.
Lead to weight gain
Finally, not only does sitting all day impede proper digestion (especially if you’re leaning forward to peer at a laptop or monitor) it also makes it harder for our bodies to burn the calories we ingest throughout the day. As such, those of us who spend most of our days seated may gain weight at a much faster rate than those who are always moving.
Even getting up and walking around for 5 minutes every hour can help to mitigate the health risks of sitting.