Is Sitting the New Smoking?

How many hours did you spend sitting today? We’re sitting while you read through your emails? Playing a game on your phone? Watching your favorite TV show? Eating meals? Did you drive in your car? These are all things we do every day: sitting.

The average person sits 9-12 hours a day, 20 if you are including sleeping. Crazy!

What happens to our bodies when we sit?

Our chest muscles get tight and this causes bad posture which can lead to neck pain. You can also experience pain in the low back, hip flexors get tight, and even stiffness in the feet and ankles.

Is smoking as bad as sitting?

Smoking is pretty bad. In the early 1900s and even as little as 30 years ago, people were having horrible health problems due to smoking. And they did not know that smoking was the cause. Similarly today, many people are experiencing back pain, neck pain, and health issues that they don’t realize are being caused by sitting.

What should we do?

First, get up! Walk around! Just move more! Incorporate more movement in your day. Whether it is taking a parking spot that is father away, making sure you get up from your desk chair every hour, walk around up while talking on the phone, or get away from the TV, just move! The more you move the better you feel.

The other important thing to do stretches that counter-act the effects of sitting. Here are some great strengths to do at least 2-3 times throughout your day.

1. Lunge stretch.

Position yourself with one leg forward, knee bent and the back leg straight or resting on the knee on the ground. Be sure that the front ankle is directly under the knee and that the trailing leg is straight out behind you. Use your hands on the ground to steady the body, the gently lower the hips downward & forwards and hold that position. Repeat on the other side.

lunge stretch

2. Bridge.

Lay flat on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and arms to your side. Push into your feet and arms then lift your hips off the ground. Be sure to keep your ribs together and belly button in and squeeze your gluteus at the top of your bridge. Slowly lower down to ground articulating through your spine. Do 10 reps, 2-3 rounds.

Bridge

3. Chest stretch.

Interlace your hand behind your back. Pull your shoulder blades together and bring your elbows back as far as possible. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Wait 10 seconds and then repeat the stretch.

Chest Stretch

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