25 Jul How Often Should I Get Up And Move Around During the day and Why?
It’s become common knowledge that sitting is not exactly great for you, but why not? What’s the problem with sitting for long stretches at a time?
According to Harvard Health, you may be putting yourself at risk for heart disease, diabetes, muscular weakness and postural issues. Yikes.
Researchers have found that people who spend long periods sitting tend to have higher levels of triglycerides. Triglycerides are essentially the fat floating around in the blood stream and high levels of this fat can contribute to hardening of the arteries putting you at risk for heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. Time to get up for a stretch break!
People who don’t get up often were also found to be at greater risk of developing type 2 Diabetes. It is theorized that when you don’t move your muscles enough the tissue can become less sensitive to insulin the hormone that helps your body burn sugar. When your body ignores insulin, your pancreas thinks it needs to make more of it to lower your blood sugar levels, which leads to high insulin levels in your blood and raises your risk for type 2 Diabetes. This in turn puts you at risk for heart disease.
Muscle Loss and Posture Problems
A sedentary lifestyle can also wreak havoc on your muscles causing pain and stiffness along with postural problems. If you don’t use your muscles you loose them and weaker muscles especially the large muscles of the legs and buttocks make everyday tasks such as walking up stairs and getting off the couch harder than they should be and may also increase your chance of falling.
Sitting in one position for hours can tighten up your hip flexors and shorten them. These are the muscles at the top of your thigh that connect your femur to your back hips and groin and allow you to bend over, swing your legs etc. Shorter tight hip flexors can cause back and groin pain.
If you sit at a desk typing away you may also unwittingly be causing yourself neck and upper back pain as you crouch over your keyboard typing away. Did you know that the human head weighs anywhere from 8lb – 11lbs? That’s a lot of weight to hold up!
How to combat the ills of sitting?
Get up every 30-45 min and walk around. Go make a cup of tea or have a glass of water. Walk outside and get a little fresh air or stretch for 5 min. Just moving a little can help mitigate all of the issues above.
Also, be aware of the way you sit and the effect it might be having on your body. Are you always crossing one leg over the other putting pressure on one hip? Do you prop your feet up on a table shortening your hip flexors? Are your shoulders and back rounded putting pressure on your neck? Making little tweaks to how you sit will also make for a healthier happier body.