Ads, Glorious Ads! How would we know what we want with out being told, sung to, danced, designed, and trailered. But, on the flip side how far has society gone on adding warning labels to everything? Now its chairs due to poor health conditions that can be attributed to habitual sitters (just like smokers). What’s next – vegetables?
The Next New Label
Years ago we attributed the most unhealthy people were those who had careers where auto or truck travel over distance was required. The hours, weeks, months , and years with this requirement in this career in a normally unhealthy position was one of the largest contributors to poor health rather than the first thought of impact or accident. As the computer age dawned and the virtual digital age became the ruler of careers and now for many virtual lives and social connections our time sitting has more than tripled and so has our health problems. These health problems range from neck pain, back pain, headaches, sciatica to onset of disease processes including obesity. Although one solution may be to reactivate your Wii Fit, the other more realistic solution should be to take heed to the warning that prolonged sitting has detrimental effects on our health and to take responsibility for our actions rather than banning the chair.
In a study performed at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana, a Physiologist, Marc Hamilton, discovered that when he prevented lab mice from standing up, an enzyme that burns fat gets turned off, which can lead to weight gain. “This enzyme is virtually shut off within hours of not standing, completely independent of diet, completely independent of weight changes.” Hamilton further stated that, “Sitting has become the most common human behavior; literally, it outstrips the amount of time we spend sleeping.” Drawing a parallel of sitting to a new form of smoking – an occurrence that was at one time was so common, acceptable and advertised that people were reluctant to see the health hazard it posed. The two primary parallel components being that both smoking and sitting are silent and take years to develop serious disease processes.
To add more specific facts, another study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that sitting for long stretches, more than six hours a day, can make someone at least 18 percent more likely to die from diabetes, heart disease and obesity than those sitting less than three hours a day.
At our practice we see how human behaviors shape our society. The evolution of technology has impacted the way we use our bodies. Humans have moved from the active life of being hunter-gatherers to becoming agriculturalists. The Industrial Revolution moved us to factories and the ‘technological revolution’ landed us behind desks and into the culture of sitting too much and living a sedentary lifestyle that is already contributing to sickness, pain and dis-ease.
The poor posture and sitting pandemic is serious and going to have predictably devastating effects on your health and the health of the next generation unless we change our behaviors.
Computers and technology are here to stay. So ergonomics and the accountability of our actions will be crucial to gaining our freedom back.
Here are three simple posture tips you can begin today:
- Get a standing desk so you can do your work standing
- Take regular breaks. Get up every 30-60 minutes to stretch for 30-60 seconds.
- Do not sit down on the sofa after your evening meal. Stand and stretch for 10 minutes. Bonus! It will also stimulate your metabolism!
Ready To Help!
Is your future health worth a few minutes and a few minor changes in your behaviors? Absolutely!
If your are ready to improve your flexibility, stop degenerative changes, arthritis and many other conditions plus increase your energy call our office today. Our expert team is ready to help you stand up against today’s lifestyle health challenges.
Let’s Not Take This Sitting Down!
For Your Health,
Dr. Scott Van Dam