Sitting For Extended Periods Of Time Can Be Unhealthy
As far as unhealthy lifestyles are concerned, sitting around too much everyday is being cautioned as equally unhealthy as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. Unfortunately for more and more people, sitting around propped up in front of a computer screen, tv or phone for hours on end has become all too commonplace in our society, and many individuals are starting to develop increasingly worse issues as a result.
Statistically, as many as 70% of people spend 6 or more hours every day sitting down. This state of sitting around everyday has been linked to increases in cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer and type 2 diabetes in adults. Studies have shown that sitting around for long periods of time can increase these risks, even if you exercise everyday.
Sitting and Back Pain
Sitting for long periods of time seems like it should be relaxing and beneficial to your back and neck pain, but the opposite is actually true. Spending the majority of your day sitting at a desk or at home on the couch puts a great deal of stress on your body. This added stress can contribute or even cause complications with your discs, leaving you more susceptible to bulging or slipped discs. Sitting around for long periods of time can also affect your posture and lead to developing issues with the support structures of the spinal column, including a weakening of the muscles and ligaments that could cause chronic back pain.
Sometimes sitting around is unavoidable. Whether you’re at the office or working from home, it can be hard to break out of your daily sedentary routine. Creating awareness and taking action can help take some of the stress off your spine and improve your health in the long term. A great first step to a better back is to start by breaking up long periods of sitting by getting up and going for a short walk on your break or lunch. Getting up and going for a quick walk can increase circulation and strengthen your support muscles in your back and core which can also improve your posture. If the chair you are using lacks adequate support, it might be time for an upgrade. Consider using a chair with built in lumbar support to help take some stress off of your spine when seated for longer periods. Another popular way to break up your day is to try using a sit/stand desk. Sit/stand desks are ideal to help break up long periods of sitting around by allowing you to adjust your workspace height to accommodate standing while you work. Even in short bursts, standing while working at your desk can help improve your posture and circulation.
William Capicotto MD, PC
Small steps can make a big difference in your overall health and wellbeing. So whether you’re back at the office or still stuck at home, it’s time to stop sitting around and get back to moving around. If your back or neck pain is causing you pain and discomfort to the extent that it hinders your movement or impacts your daily life, it’s time to call William Capicotto MD at (716) 881-0382.