James here from Switch Physio Penshurst,
More and more people are visiting me with back pain and are asking the same question!
“How did I hurt my back, I woke up with this pain?”
After some digging I find that the same pattern is happening, they have a desk job that is very demanding. Australian’s spend most of their adult life in the workplace and for a large number of people, work involves sitting at a computer desk in an office.
This means that more often than not we are sitting for 8 or more hours a day, more than 40 hours a week.
Below I’ve listed the impact this is having on your health and have a read to the bottom where I have listed the 3 things you need to be doing ASAP to stop this from happening to you!
The 7 effects too much sitting is having on your health
1. Poor posture and back pain!
- The set up of the work desk and the length of time spent sitting have a huge role on the posture of the back. The longer we sit the worse our posture gets.
- Our endless use of devices and computers has forever changed they way in which we sit and interact. More often than not we are putting stress on our neck, upper back and lower back by the way we are sitting. Add to that the length of time we then stay in these positions.
- This repeated stress inevitably leads to back or neck pain!
2. The poor old heart (Cardiovascular System)
- Prolonged sitting has been linked to high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and decreased energy expenditure all causing an increased risk in cardiovascular disease.
- The Link between poor health and prolonged sitting first started in 1950’s, where it was found that London bus drivers where twice as likely to have a heart attack.
- Prolonged sitting has shown to decrease the effectiveness of the heart to work. The more we move the more the heart has to work. This helps the cardiovascular system survive and reduce the potential for issues.
- Prolonged sitting involves very little to no energy expenditure throughout the day.
- If energy expenditure is less than energy put into the body from food and drink, then weight gain occurs.
- Jobs involving sitting > 8 hours a day burn less energy than more active jobs such as tradesmen.
- It is no surprise that prolonged sitting is linked to excessive fat levels, weight gain and obesity.
- An increase in prolonged sitting decreases the amount of weight-bearing exercises such as walking or running. These weight bearing exercises are required to allow the bones to grow thicker, denser and stronger.
- Stronger bones = less risk of osteoporosis = less bone fractures
- An increased risk of diabetes occurs because prolonged sitting slows the body’s metabolism.
- We don’t use as many muscles when sitting which leads to an increase in the risk factors of Diabetes
- 112% increase in the risk of diabetes with prolonged sitting.
6. Mental Health
- The longer we spend our day sitting the higher the risk of depression, anxiety, stress and use of anti-depressant medication.
7. Blood circulation
- By sitting we decrease the flow of blood around the body, there is no need for the body to work hard so it slows down.
- This can cause a number of problems including swollen ankles, varicose veins and even dangerous blood clots.
The 3 key habits you need ASAP to prevent the effects of sitting too long
- Get up and move every 30-40 minutes. Set an alarm or reminder to make sure you get up and move!
- Don’t spend your lunch break at your desk. Use the time to get away from the computer or even exercise
- Exercise Regularly, reverse the effects of sitting by exercising 30 minutes each day.
If you are experiencing back pain or back pain is preventing you from performing the activities you enjoy, please call our clinic for an appointment or you can book online.
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