Sitting CAN KILL YOU
Did you know sitting can kill you? Did you know that the average American spends 9-10 hours per day sitting? One of those Americans is myself. You never realize how much you sit throughout the day until you really think and add up the hours you sit a day.
A couple of months ago, I started having lower back, neck and shoulder pain. I went to a chiropractor because I know I have poor posture when I am working. After my adjustments, I felt relief, but when I went back to work, that pain would come back. My chiropractor recommended for me to not sit for more than 30 minutes, otherwise my pain will not go away.
There is no way for me to not sit for more than 30 minutes. My commute to work one way is longer than 30 minutes and each patient I work on is more than 30 minutes of sitting.
Unless I want to die an early death, I need to make a change. I am going to my chiropractor once a week to reverse the damage that I do in a week of sitting more than 30 minutes each time. It is a waste of my money, my gas and my time to have to take time out of my day to drive to the chiropractor.
What are the health RISKS of sitting?
- Organ damage, such as lungs, uterine, colon, heart and pancreas
- Bad back, such as inflexible spine, disk damage, tight hips and limp glutes. I have the bad back right now that I am going to start healing.
- Leg disorders, such as poor circulation in legs
- Metabolic syndrome, such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal levels of cholesterol
How does sitting cause these health risks?
According to Dr. James Levine, the author of the book, Get UP! Why your chair is killing you and what you can do about it, he states, “Sitting is not only bad for your back, your wrists, your arms, and your metabolism, but it switches off the fundamental fueling systems that integrate what’s going on in the bloodstream with what goes on in the muscles and in the tissues.”
We need blood to flow into our muscles and tissues to keep from deteriorating. When deterioration happens, that is when diseases and cancer will occur. Think of an apple when you leave it out, it turns brown. This process is called oxidation (rust). You muscles and tissues get oxidized the same way when things are not in the right condition.
I learned about this process when I was working for a dentist who specialized in whole body health. For example, Majority of the population grinds their teeth. Most people don’t realize it because grinding usually occurs when people are sleeping. Some people grinds more than others to the point where they get headaches, high blood pressure, jaw pain, etc. Once we stopped the grinding with an appliance, the symptoms gradually decreased and diminished.
We need to be moving throughout the day to prevent health risks.
What studies have been done to prove the health risks occur?
1. Study 1 – According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, a study compared adults who spent less than 2 hours a day sitting in front of a television to adults who spent more than 4 hours a day.
Results – The adults who spent more than 4 hours a day sitting in front of a television had about 50% increase in risk of death of any cause and about 125% increased in risk of events associated with cardiovascular disease.
2. Study 2 – According to the British Medical Journal, a study was done on the hazards of modern sedentary lifestyle, suggesting that public policy needs to focus on increasing movement while at work.
Results – They found that sitting increases lung cancer by 54%, uterine cancer by 66%, colon cancer by 30% and increases anxiety and depression.
3. Study 3 – Charles E. Matthews and The National Cancer Institute studied mortality of sitting on people who watched the most television in a study of 8.5 years.
Results – They found a 61% greater risk of dying than those who watched less than 1 hour a day of television.
4. Study 4– According to the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, 47 studies were done on sitting behavior.
Results – They found the time a person spends sitting everyday caused damaging effects which cancels the benefits of exercising.
5. Study 5– According to Diabetologia, they studied the sitting times of adults.
Results – They found that adult with increased sitting times have a 112% increased risk of diabetes and a 147% increased risk in cardiovascular related events compared to people who sit the least. This means that there is an increased risk of death from pretty much all health problems, from cardiovascular disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.
This is scary stuff, huh? We are slowly dying of a slow death if we don’t change our habits now before it is too late.
What is the solution to not die from sitting?
If you have a job you have to go to:
If permissible, try to stand instead of sitting while working
If permissible, shorten commute time to less than 30 minutes
During lunch, stand instead of sitting while eating
If permissible, stand up and walk every 30 min if your job requires sitting
If you are working at home:
Get a standing desk with a anti-fatigue cushion floor mat
Work on your bar counter or high table where you can have good posture (NOT ideal but if you can’t afford a standing desk)
Get a vertical ready desk to place above a treadmill so you can be active most of the day
If sitting is your ONLY option, make sure you have GOOD posture
This is where you sit with your gluteus stuck out behind you, but done overdo it.
This allows the bones in your spine to stack well and allow the muscles along the sides to relax
When you inhale and exhale, you will lengthen and settle your spine which stimulates circulation and healing while you sit.
If you can’t do this type of posture, you may want to consider a ergonomic friendly chair.
You don’t want a cheap one because it will not give you the support in areas you need.
I had just been writing this page for 2 hours while standing on my antifatigue floor mat. The 2 hours flew by and my lower back has not bothered me. However, I would like to have my own room to work in so I purchased a standing desk last night. I’m super excited. I believe in standing while working. During my first 6 years in the dental field, I didn’t have a choice but to stand while working. I never had back, neck or shoulder pain back then.
Do you want to know a REAL solution to eliminate sitting?
Working from home allows you to have the freedom to stand while you work. You don’t have to commute when you work from home.
“Kill two birds with one stone.”
Read my review of Wealthy Affiliate if you want to work from home and start the process to stop killing yourself.
Please leave any comments or questions below.