Do you spend more than four hours a day sitting down? If the answer is yes, you’re one of the millions of people who make up the ‘sitting epidemic’.
Due to a decline in the prevalence of physical jobs, combined with the rise of desk-based work, working from home, use of the internet and car travel, it’s estimated by the NHS that the average person spends up to nine hours a day sitting. Unless you are a wheelchair user, this can be dangerous to your health.
Of course, taking time to put your feet up is extremely important and shouldn’t be jettisoned in favour of over-exercising. Healthcare professionals generally agree that for an average adult, thirty minutes of exercise per day is enough to maintain cardiovascular health and keep muscles strong. This doesn’t have to involve heavy-impact workouts like weight lifting. A half an hour walk, a yoga class or game of football is just as good.
Sitting for long periods of time can slow the metabolism, alter the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and break down fat. This can lead to back pain, poor mental health, a sluggish lymphatic system and can even contribute to diabetes and deep-vein thrombosis.
Luckily there are lots of simple ways to reduce your sitting time that you can implement today.
- Time yourself. If you work at a desk, try setting a timer on your phone that reminds you to get up every thirty minutes. This can be as simple as going to get a drink, stretching, or walking on the spot to get your circulation going.
- If possible, walk to work rather than driving or getting the bus. If you’d like to know more about how to get the most out of a walk, read our blog post all about it.
- In the evening, it’s much easier to become immobile. Be mindful of spending hours on the sofa without getting up. Break up your sitting time by making a cup of tea, doing the washing up or hanging out the laundry. Even moving around for short intervals will do wonders for your health and mobility.
- Invest in an exercise ball or one of our SitFit cushions. If you work from home, sitting on a wobbly surface like an exercise ball at your desk encourages constant, gentle movement that keeps your spine supple and your glute muscles turned on.
If you’d like to know more, don’t hesitate to book in for an appointment with us. We’re always happy to help.
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