As a chiropractor I am always telling patients to take regular breaks from their working day. Sitting at the desk for too long, sitting in the car to meetings or just your daily commute and then collapsing on the sofa when you get home just stiffens up your body. Get up and walk around the office, do some stretches and take a walk on your lunch break. This helps with back pain, neck pain and general posture. In the news today is research that sitting for long periods has many other long term health implications.
“Sitting for long periods is bad for your healthâ€
Hardly cutting edge research but nevertheless it’s another study in the public spotlight adding further evidence to the argument that we all need to be less sedentary. What this study showed was that those who sat for long periods were at the highest risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. Exact mechanisms are not yet clear but in terms of diabetes risk, being sedentary affects insulin resistance and glucose metabolism. Regular exercise also helps regulate weight and we know that maintaining a healthy body weight is the best way of minimising the risk of type-2 diabetes. In an earlier blog entry in November 2011 I discussed previous research that came to the same conclusions.
(Study published in the Journal Diabetologia).
What can I do to help myself?
Replace some of that time spent sitting by actually getting up and moving about! A simple way is to take a look at some of the neck and low back exercises posted on the website. Force yourself to get into the habit of doing regular stretching and flexibility work ideally every day but a minimum of twice a week. It is also a great way of relaxing at the end of a busy day, instead of reaching for the tv remote or a glass of wine. You could try putting on some relaxing music for 5 or 10 minutes whilst you do the exercises.
Want to find out more? Why not book an appointment with me to devise a program of regular stretching and strengthening exercises that can become a part of your working day.