Pardon the title pun but recently there was yet another article about the dangers of sitting. “Sitting Most of the Day May Lead to an Early Grave” was the headline. This, on the heels of “Sitting is the New Smoking” and other articles about sitting, is creating some major concern for those millions of people that predominantly sit for a living.
The human body was designed for us Homo Sapiens to survive well at the top of the food chain. Living things that were mobile tended to have clear advantages over those that weren’t. Mobility is a key feature of the human blueprint. In fact, per studies quoted in the article above and more, we are severely penalized if we don’t use this “gift” of mobility.
We live in gravity 24/7 and the goal of gravity is to drive everything, including us to the center of earth. Not a pleasant thought when you think about it. However, our bodies are designed to live in gravity. We NEED gravity to survive. Resisting gravity is critical to our health. In fact accelerated aging is being linked to those who don’t or can’t resist gravity.
If we aren’t being mobile, gravity is winning. A wonderful book about the effects of sitting is “Sitting Kills, Moving Heals” by Joan Vernikos, Ph.D.(NASA). Her research found similar physical maladies with astronauts who lived in no gravity environments (space) and office workers, whom while sitting are not exerting against gravity. Apparently the body thrives on motion and the exertion against gravity.
Well what are the millions of people that sit for a living supposed to do with all this doom and gloom around sitting? Not go to work? Or stand up all day? The good news is there are things we can do to counter the effects of sitting. According to Dr. Vernikos, merely standing up often during your day can counter the effects of sitting. Move your printer or cell phone away from your desk so that you need to get up to attend to them. Set an alarm every 20 minutes to stand up.
How about this simple very healthy tip-DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!! Not only will you stay hydrated but you will be forced to stand up and walk to the bathroom. Therapeutic indeed!!
And last but not least, who TRAINED you how to sit? Yes, there are ways to sit properly. In fact if you don’t sit properly your symptoms can be: neck and shoulder discomfort, low back pain, headaches, wrist and forearm discomfort or pain, eye strain, fatigue and a general feeling of malaise.
Today, millions of people sit in positions that are dictated by where their keyboard lies, where their mouse is located, the position of their monitor and whatever their chair settings are adjusted to. They are being victims to never before being taught how to sit properly. So basic, yet so vital.
Sittingsafe® is a new form of office ergonomic training. You can learn how to positon your body in optimal positions, how to stretch away discomfort and stress and how to maintain your body’s mobility. We don’t have to be the victims of sitting. We can sit and be healthy. You just need to know how!!
Dennis Downing, CEO