How To Minimise The Negative Impacts Of Sitting

Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns. These include neck and back pain, headaches, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels.

The good news is 60 minutes of moderately intense physical activity a day has been shown to counteract the effects of too much sitting. It seems very clear that less sitting and more moving overall contributes to better health.

There are many ways to reduce the impact of sitting at work, such as:

• Take a break from sitting every 30 to 40 minutes

• Stand up to talk on the phone

• Use a sit-stand desk at work and keep changing your posture throughout the day

• Go for a walk at lunchtime

• Move office equipment to another place further from your desk in the work place

• Break up long periods of sitting time with shorter bouts of activity for just one or two minutes

• Take the stairs and walk up escalators

Health benefits to moving more and sitting less can be significant. Benefits include weight loss, increased energy, increased muscle tone and blood flow throughout the body which also helps improve brain activity.

It is important to seek treatment for back and neck pain, as well as headaches as long periods of sitting leads to poor posture which causes muscles and joints in the spine to stiffen and strain causing pain.

Osteopaths work with the body to free joint restrictions, reduce muscle spasm, improve blood flow and nerve function so that it is possible to be active and exercise effectively without pain.

An osteopath would also offer ergonomic and postural advice, as well as prescribe a few appropriate stretches and strengthening exercises.

Improving flexibility and strength to the upper body enables better sitting posture for longer.

Dr Yasmin Fitton

Osteopath

D.O. (B.S.O London)

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