“As a general guideline, if you’ve been sitting for an hour, you’ve sat too long.” -Dr. James Levine
Think about how often you sit, at work, eating lunch, driving, watching television, playing video games, at the computer, on your phone?
Even as I write this I can feel the slow ache in my bones build.
I love writing but sitting is something that has always kept me from long hours spent hunched over a keyboard making posts, editing, and revising. I prefer to sit no more than an hour at a time. After that my body is craving some movement. And I bet yours is too.
Most of us suffer with back and neck pain. Being that almost everyone suffers with some form of pain, it has become a normal way of living. So much so that it actually deters people from exercising. Many clients I work with fail to connect their back pain as a symptom of their inactivity. So their well intentioned, self prescribed dosage of more rest and more sitting only worsens their condition. They are, understandably, in so much pain that moving actually has begun to feel counterintuitive.
I rehabilitated a major back and hip injury, through the practice of yoga and core strengthening workouts over the past several years. My broken back and hip have healed completely and I can assure you they only give me problems when…
Yup, you guessed it,
when I sit.
Sitting plays a huge factor in childhood obesity. Most children can’t sit still, which is a great thing, as our bodies are not designed for sedentary lifetsyles, but leave a child in front of the television, or humped over a phone screen or an Ipad long enough and suddenly they don’t want to get up. Thus, a generation of children with premature back pain, neck pain, health problems, short attention spans etc.
The secondary curves of the spines are formed the moment our children can lift their heads, and further more as they begin crawling and walking. Childhood is a crucial age in which our spines are developing and adjusting to either activity or exessive periods of sitting. It is no surprise which leads to a more healthy, properly aligned, flexible spine, whether it be dancing, baseball, walking, or yoga, children are meant to move and adults are too!
Want to stay and feel younger longer? Want to have more energy and be able to keep up with your kids?
Move! Be the example. Children will not remember hours spent in front of the television but they will remember days spent hanging off the monkey bars, walks on the beach, surfing ocean waves, climbing trees, going to the gym or doing some yoga (which I highly recommend) with their parents.
Part of my love for working in the health field is that I don’t have to sit for long periods of time. Thank god!
Sitting should make up a very small part of an active day, but for most of us it takes up our entire day with small, inconsistent bursts of activity.
It’s simple math, an hour of exercise alone, even everyday, can not counter the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
Bring movement into everyday life, dancing around the house, standing instead of sitting to fold laundry, jumping around with your kids. I like to pop into some form of a yoga posture, get upside down, or do a quick Sun Salutation to get my breath moving and my blood circulating. Doesn’t that sound yummy?
Get creative and most importantly, make it fun!