A 2008 Australian study concluded that every hour of TV watched after the age of 25 reduces life expectancy by about 22 minutes – compared to a cigarette, which research estimates a reduction in life expectancy by 11 minutes. Therefore, the impact of sitting may be more detrimental than smoking a cigarette. While I do not recommend smoking, it emphasizes the point that sitting significantly impacts our health.
In the US, the average person sits for 13 hours a day. It has been reported that working out for at least one hour a day may not be enough to combat the effects of sitting for the rest of the day. This would still be considered a “sedentary” lifestyle.
Neck pain, headaches, pelvic floor dysfunction, gluteal inhibition, low back pain, jaw disorders, knee pain, tight hips, and increased risk of diabetes are just some of the many consequences of prolonged sitting. However, there are strategies that can be taken to reduce your risk.
- Reduce amount time of unnecessary sitting
- For every 30 minutes of inactivity, move for 2 minutes
- Spend 10-15 minutes doing mobility – stretch, foam roll
The brain is more productive when standing or moving, rather than sitting. Steve Jobs was known for holding important business meetings while walking. Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin brands, utilizes the same strategies for his meetings.
If you are experiencing some of the effects of sitting, our team at Advanced Care Specialists can evaluate your symptoms and will develop a comprehensive plan to treat your pain.
Our mission is to redefine the patient experience by utilizing multiple health care providers to develop individualized, comprehensive, and innovative treatment plans for each patient.
-Emma Minx, DC, CCSP, MS,
References: Starrett K, Starrett J, Cordoza G. Deskbound: Standing up to a Sitting World. Las Vegas, NV: Victory Belt Publishing; 2016.