If you go to a NY health care center for a routine checkup or because you have a specific health condition, you can be sure that – along with evaluation of your medical history, diet and other matters – your physician will discuss your lifestyle. You may be asked if you are in the habit of sitting too much, the reason being that many recent studies have linked prolonged sitting to many health risks.
Dangers of Too Much Sitting
An article in the Washington Post says that the average “parking time” for a U.S. adult is nearly eight hours per day. This could be time spent at work in front of a computer and/or watching TV. Researchers link sitting for long hours to a number of health concerns such as obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood glucose levels, excess body fat around the waist, abnormal cholesterol levels, musculoskeletal problems, and deterioration in mental health. Sitting also seems to pose a higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. According to a recent study, even those who exercise face these risks. Here is a overview of the major problems caused by sitting:
Muscle degeneration: Exercise can prevent muscle degeneration, but long hours of sitting can undo the good work. Sitting affects the hip muscles and limits range of motion and stride length. Studies have linked slips and falls among the elderly to reduced hip mobility.
Organ damage: Sitting affects organs like the heart by causing high blood pressure and cholesterol. It causes the pancreas to produce high levels of insulin leading to diabetes and associated problems. Studies have linked sitting to higher risk of colon, breast and endometrial cancers.
Neck and back pain: Sitting affects spinal health. It stresses the back, neck, arms and legs and increases the pressure on the back muscles and spinal discs, leading to neck and back pain. Moreover, if you slump while sitting, it would affect the natural curvature of the spine. Also, your glutes suffer inactivity with too much sitting, damaging your stability and most often causing low back pain, hip pain, and even knee and ankle pain.
Increased risk of dying: An 8.5-year study found that people who watched the most TV had a 61 percent greater risk of dying than those who watched less than one hour per day.
You can take steps to undo the damage that can be caused by prolonged sitting. If you have a desk job, stand up every half an hour or walk around. When you’re watching TV, use the commercial break to get active. You can also choose to stand while using public transportation or when you’re having a snack. Maintain proper posture when you are sitting. Finally, don’t neglect any health issues or chronic joint pain – get treatment at a professional pain management center. Reliable centers in New York offer customized pain management programs incorporating chiropractic and physical therapy programs to improve mobility and enhance overall quality of life.