When you think of sitting, it’s hard to see it as activity that could influence your health. It seems natural, something everybody does like breathing or blinking one’s eyes. After all, most of the population spends much of the day sitting, so how can there be a problem? In fact, that is the problem!
The latest research figures show that a hefty 63% of the Australian population is overweight or obese. The fact that we are spending far too much time on our backsides rather than on our feet might be one of the reasons.
The CEO of the Chiropractors Association of Australia (CAA), Andrew McNamara, says that the average office worker spends nearly 14 hours a day sitting.
When you add 8 hours of sleep we are not talking about much time to walk, shop or exercise, or move our bodies in any real way. The surge in the size of the average Australian has also increased the rise of other chronic conditions and associated diseases such as cardiovascular, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes, to name a few.
When we sit says McNamara, kilojoules burning drop to a handful a minute, the enzymes that break down fat drop by 90% and the electrical activity in our legs shut down.
Although humans are designed to move, sitting causes specific muscles to shorten and adapt to whatever position they are made to hold for long periods.
The hip flexors, and hamstring in particular suffer the most, leading to back pain, a tilted spine and all sorts of postural complaints.
Further technology hampers health and in particular shoulders. Think about how many people are currently slumped over their iphones, ipads or laptops and have their heads dropped and shoulders slumped forward. We know we cannot ‘wind back the clock’ and technology is here to stay, but stay tuned for next week’s instalment of how we combat these growing problems.