Hi, friends! I have some bad news. What you are likely doing as you read this article is killing you. Did you know that sitting has in fact become the new smoking? It’s killing us! More than cars, more than cigarettes, and more than guns. Americans sit for an average of 9.3 hours every day, which exceeds the average 7.7 hours Americans spend sleeping each night.
We are all aware that smoking increases your risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Research now shows that sitting does as well. I know what you might be thinking, “Oh, it’s okay, I work out!”. Well, unfortunately that’s not the truth. Two recent studies published by the Mayo Clinic found that no matter how much moderate to vigorous exercise participants engaged in, those who sat the longest were worse off. Those who stood up from a seated position and moved around at least every thirty minutes had slimmer waists, lower BMIs, and healthier blood fat and blood sugar levels. A second study that included 17,000 participants revealed the same conclusion. The longer you spend sitting every day the more likely you are to die an early death no matter how fit you are. So how does this make it the new smoking? Sitting for five hours per day, even if you spend an hour per day at the gym, is equivalent to smoking an entire pack of cigarettes per day! According to The British Journal of Sports Medicine, for every hour we spend sitting, we are cutting twenty-two minutes off our lifespan! By contrast, it’s estimated that smokers shorten their lives by about eleven minutes per cigarette! Sounds pretty serious, right? Think about what you have done today!
Sitting is the leading cause of low back and neck pain. As Pittsburgh, PA chiropractors, we see this a lot at our chiropractic center! Back pain is the number one reason for missed work in the United States and the second most common reason we go to the doctor’s office. The United States alone spends $50 billion on back pain per year. It is estimated that eighty percent of us will experience back pain at some point in our lives. This is all because we sit too much. This causes our spines to degenerate, our muscles to weaken, and poor postural habits. It’s important to recognize that this affects us at a metabolic level as well. When you sit, your muscles shut off and your blood flow and circulation slows. This results in slower metabolism, less calories burned, and an increased amount of fat and sugar in our bloodstream. Research is very clear that for every two hours we spend seated per day our chance of contracting diabetes increases by seven percent. How do we change this? What can we do in addition to exercise? The solution is so simple! It’s “NEAT”, or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. This includes simple daily tasks that gets the muscles moving such as standing up, walking, stretching, or actively moving around your desk. Our bodies need to be active! We were designed to move and as human beings we are meant to be on our feet. Our modern lifestyles and jobs cause us to sit far too much so this is my challenge to you: get up out of your seat every thirty minutes and move around. Standing up burns three times as many calories as sitting! So get going! Take more breaks, maybe get a stand up desk, walk to work or lunch instead of driving, put the social media away and play with your children and pets. Be kind to your body by finding creative and fun ways to move more. You will be adding years to your life and life to your years! If you would like to learn more about how changes such as standing coupled with chiropractic adjustments can change your life, then schedule an appointment today with us at 412 Performance Chiropractic, the Robinson Chiropractic center of choice!