As I continue to expand my work into new areas I've been working and more in an office environment. I have to say the more I look the more I see just how bad the problems of inactivity are not just for adults, but also for children spending too many hours sitting in schools with activity level decreased to a minimum. So this is nothing new and much has been written about it before, and I may not be adding anything new. My aim in writing this is to supplement the readers of my Minutes in Motion Office Workouts (which will be resuming) with ever more reason to continue their assault on the risks of inactivity. I even have to sit to write this as sitting every where we now reaching a time where many adults and children are so in active they are walking time bombs. Don't add yourself to the list of health statistics. Read this post and gain some awareness into just what's happening to your body when sitting is your fitness program. The tune yourself to my Office Workouts in the minutes in motion posts.
What's Shaping you?A lot of professionals neglect the Office Workout, and such they miss a chance to work with many clients int he environment that can shape them most. The average worker in the average Office based job spends more time in work than they do with Friends, Family and Loved ones. Now that's a lot of sitting down right? and remember that's over an average shift of 9 hours per day for a lot of people.As professionals designing programming for Clients and Athletes we all know your body adapts the most to activity it is repeatedly pressured by. Your Program is Endurance based you build Endurance. Your Program is Strength training you get stronger I could on but you get me right? Your body will adapt and shape to what ever you do most often, and that goes for that chair you spend 9 hours a day sitting on in your office. Sitting as agreed by many movement specialists is an unnatural Human resting position. We are not build for and we never been built for sitting. We were built by Squatting, and that is our natural states of rest. So lets have a closer look at just how your Chair is Shaping you:
>Firstly your position and posture forces you into an unnatural half Flexed position that creates a lot of compression in ways the body is unsuited to deal with.
>Your Spine is compressed to a level where the forces exerted on it are between 30-40% greater than when standing.
>.Your Fascia or Connective Tissue begin to tighten and stiffen due to prolonged holding of the same position over hours of the day.
>This creates shortening and tightening of your Hip Flexor muscles.
>Your Glute muscles are exposed to prolonged Stretching due to the 90 degree angles of your Knees.
> This creates muscle imbalances which increase your injury risk leading you to become weaker over time.
>Do this repeatedly over career and these small changes become the platform for the big changes you experience later down the line. Gluteal Amnesia which is a condition where the Glute muscles do not activate properly is just on of many muscle related health affects that occur due to prolonged sitting. Those Office Workouts are looking like a good idea right? Well if you answered no then read on.
Invisible Killers-The Hazards of Sitting You Don't See
Mental StressOne study conducted in Australia linked prolonged sitting to increased levels of Mental Distress. The risk of such mental conditions increased in some participants by up to 90%. This an impact on everything from your perception of relationships, your self esteem, depression and any other number of Mental Conditions. What creates these risks is unknown and still be studied. However what many health experts believe occurs is a viscous circle of poor health leading to poor Mental Functioning that then reinforces further the negative affect of the health conditions.
Increased Cancer RiskIncreasing your Cancer risk. Studies int he UK and Germany have linked too much sitting to an increase in various Cancers, and if you couple that with obesity that results in many participants of certain Sedentary professions you have a breading ground for Cancer. Studies highlighted significantly increased risk with many Cancer types including but not limited too 30% increased risk of Colon Cancer, 60-70% increase of Uterine Cancer and a 54% increased risk of Lung Cancer.
Increased Diabetes RiskYour risk of Diabetes increases and if you already have the condition you're at risk of worsening this. Those who sit in frequent long shifts from 9-12 hours per day significantly increase the spiking of blood sugars above levels of those who break sitting periods up with bursts of activity. Researchers have shown the best strategy is for frequent bursts of activity that burn off excess Carbs and lead to better Blood Glucose management. You can find many Office Workouts that take minutes in the Minutes in Motion Section of this site.
Decreased Blood HealthDecreasing Blood health. Ever heard of DVT on long distance flights? This can also develop from prolonged sitting as researchers have shown in the areas of Blood health that sitting leads to increased clotting frequency of the Blood, Selling of Smaller Blood Vessels in the legs and Blood Pooling. If you sit for prolonged periods of time you significantly risk the quality o your circulation. When your sitting your blood flows slower, leading to increased risk of Blood Pooling and an increase in Fatty Acid Deposits.
Chronic Back PainAs I already stated sitting for long periods increases the compression force on the Spine and can lead to chronic Back pain. Back pain is one of the most reported and treated health problems for both Athletes and none Athletes. Significant amounts of money are lost by companies from time off when employees experience back pain, but a lot of this is created by companies who inadequately equip employees for sitting. The standard office Swivel Chair is inadequately designed to lend support the Back.
So what can you do about it?
>Use Office Workouts spread through the day to increase metabolism and help manage Blood Glucose levels. You can find these in the Minutes in Motion Section of this site.
> Decrease your sitting time. One way to do this is to add walking breaks into your daily routine. If you try to spend a few minutes stood up every our then you increase the time on your feet during the day. Also any structured work breaks you do have spend them walking away from your desk get out of the work environment.
>Introduce a low Carb diet. As I'm sure you'll know your diet is where the most impact can be had. If you begin to actively control your Blood Glucose with your diet.
>Use a Pedometer set yourself a step goal and aim to keep it by walking as much possible.
For more on this you can contact me via the contact section of this website. 31% more people are now using online Personal Training services to obtain programs and gain advise than when compared to levels in 2010.