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What sitting down for too long is really doing to your health

The Times May 14 2016

According to new research, sitting for more than six hours a day is not just bad for your back – it also increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

According to recent surveys, most Britons sit or lie down for more than 20 hours a day.

The majority of us are so badly positioned that when we sit for long periods, “the muscles in our lower bodies literally turn off and become inactive during those periods. At the same time we then adopt positions that do not use the critical muscles and connective tissues that stabilise and support our body – the result is compromised body function.”

Our sedentary lifestyles contribute to the following:

  • An increased chance of Type 2 diabetes.
  • Greater risk of heart disease and increase in blood pressure.
  • A gain in weight due to a reduction in enzymes that help metabolise fat and sugar in the body.
  • Obstructed breathing due to poor posture.
  • A “brain fog” as when our body is inactive the brain cannot be fully engaged and has difficulty staying focused. Inactivity is “killing our brains!”
  • Muscle degeneration where they are not activated.
  • Back and neck problems due to poor sitting postures.
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction due to lack of muscle activation and poor postures.

Studies have also shown that the benefits of exercise are diminished if you then spend the rest of your day sitting. We need to keep moving, twist and turn and fidget, walk and bend our bodies regularly.

How to offset your sedentary life:

  • Learn to breathe deeply from your stomach as this assists in digestion and metabolism.
  • Get up from your chair every 20 minutes and do some basic moves and stretches.
  • Stay hydrated as if you are dehydrated it effects the mobility of soft tissue which may in turn reduce range of movement.
  • Stand up at your desk intermittently through the day.
  • When you are sitting ensure that you are not slouched but sitting on the bony part of your bottom.