Achieving Optimal Healing and Wellness Through Integrative Care

At Kirkland Health Institute in Kirkland, WA, we strive to educate our patients on chronic health conditions and the ways that natural healing can help them. Our blogs provide reliable information on how you can lead a more active lifestyle and take steps toward healthy living.

Sitting Health Hazards

March 13, 2016

Too Much Sitting Can Be Hazardous to Your Health!

How much time during the day do you find yourself sitting in a chair? And while you’re sitting, how aware of your posture are you?

Whether it’s because you’re one of millions of Americans that have an office job, or whether you spend several hours at home on the computer, watching TV, or even sitting in the car commuting to work or driving kids, you are probably sitting more than you should and putting yourself at risk for several kinds of health issues.

The risks of too much sitting…

  • Permanent bad posture which cramps your internal organs into smaller spaces they weren’t meant to be in.
  • Chronic back pain
    • Damage to your disks (herniated lumbar disks)
    • Inflexible spine – because you’re not moving enough and your spine isn’t functioning as it was intended to – keeping your disks soft and expanding and contracting – disks become uneven and compacted without enough movement.
  • Obesity
  • Heart Disease – because you’re not very active, your blood flow becomes sluggish which allows fatty acids to clog your heart. A sedentary lifestyle has also been linked to high blood pressure as well as high cholesterol.
  • Diabetes
  • Poor circulation, especially in your legs, may result in weakened bones, swelling in the ankles and feet, blood clots and even varicose veins.
  • Neck strain – caused by such activities as holding your phone with your shoulder, or tilting your head to look at mobile devices or computer screens.
  • Foggy brain – because your blood is moving at a slower pace and not moving oxygen to your brain.
  • Damage to your back and shoulder muscles
  • Muscle degeneration – unused muscles become weak and less flexible.
    • Weakened abs lead to a change in the natural arch of the spine causing a swayed back.
    • Unused hip muscles become shortened and tight, decreasing balance.
    • Your glutes will become soft and your stride will become shorter.

Inactivity is becoming an epidemic problem in our country, and it often begins with the children.

What can you do?

Get moving!

This should be an obvious conclusion and wake-up call.

If you’re like many, your schedule is so full, it’s difficult to find time to get up, get out and get moving, but there are things you can do that aren’t that difficult to squeeze into your busy day…

If you sit a a computer all day, take brief, but regular breaks to stand up, get out of your chair and stretch. (Try a couple of simple yoga poses that will stretch out your back) You’ll find that by taking the time to move a little bit throughout the day you will feel more alert because you have gotten your blood flowing to your muscles and your brain, and oxygenating them to keep them vital.

Another thing you can do is make a concerted effort to be aware of your posture – avoid slouching and compacting your internal organs and allowing your abs to get weak. Good posture will encourage them to do their job and support your body and keep it straight. If you’re having a problem doing this, you might consider sitting on a chair or stool that doesn’t have a back to lean on, or even try sitting on an exercise ball (it’s wobbly and balancing on it will work on your core), which will force your abs into activity.

If possible, alternate between sitting and standing at your computer – this is a good way to get your blood moving and help avoid blood clots.

Proper Sitting Positions:

  1. Sit with your feet flat on the floor
  2. Sit up straight – do not lean forward
  3. If you’re working on a computer, your elbows should be at a 90° angle and your arms close to your sides
  4. Choose a chair that will support your lower back
  5. Work on keeping your shoulders relaxed

If you’re experiencing chronic pain, Contact The Kirkland Health Institute, together we’ll find out what is at the root of the pain, we’ll treat the cause, not just the symptom!

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