Monday, July 6, 2015

The Dangers of Sitting

Hello hello everyone!
Today I wanted to talk about something we do every single day...

We all do it, I'm doing it right now as I write this post, and we all know it's not great for you (blah blah blah), but! rather than just write a post that says "sitting is bad for you...stop it!" I want to tell you why it's bad as well as how to stand more.

Ahem, lemme step on my soapbox here.

The average American worker sits for 12-15 hours a day, between commuting, working, watching t.v., etc....that's a lot, and it's quite dangerous.

Your blood flow slows while you're sitting because you're not doing much and it doesn't get as much of a chance to flush fatty acids through your blood vessels, causing plaque to build up easier.
Sitting can also lower the fat-burning enzymes that manage triglycerides by up to 50%!

Your body continues to secrete insulin while you sit and your muscles start to respond less to the hormone which increases your risk for Type 2 diabetes.

Because your blood flow slows down, your brain doesn't receive fresh blood as fast as it should, causing the brain to function slower.

Your body starts to lose it's proper posture and functionality. Your hip flexors lose their range of motion, your abdominal muscles weaken so your lower back has to compensate which leads to bad posture and lower back pain.
Bad posture compresses your lungs and puts unnatural pressure on your spine.
*Did you know that for every 1-inch your head hangs forward you add 10 pounds of weight onto your spine?*

Phew! Now that we're done with the sad facts, let's start talking about easy ways to change it!

First, we all have to sit at some point, so let's make sure you have correct posture while sitting!
1. Knees should be at 90 degrees and feet on the floor
2. Elbows should rest next to side at 90 degrees
3. Lower back should have a natural S-curve, no overarching or flattening
4. Upper back should rest against the back of the chair
5. Head should be looking straight ahead, not leaning forward

Now! Let's breakdown tips to stand more between work and home.

At work:

  • Sit on a stability ball rather than a chair
  • Drink more fluid, it forces you to get up to use the bathroom
  • Set a timer and take a standing break every 20-30 minutes
  • Make sure you have correct sitting posture--place a tennis ball behind your back and the back of the chair, if you slouch forward, the ball with fall
  • Do these stretches while you take your standing break
 Stretch tall up through your body, taking deep breaths
 Press your heel up towards the sky, squeezing your glute muscle
Lean forward into the foot on the chair to stretch your straight leg hip flexor

At home:

  • Sit on a stability ball during TV commercials
  • Walk around whenever you talk on the phone
  • Whenever you're waiting in the kitchen for something to heat up, do tree pose

And finally! Let's talk about the benefits of standing more!
You burn about 120-140 calories standing versus 50-70 when you're sitting.
By replacing 30 minutes of sitting with standing it can help you lose up to 5 pounds in 1 year!

Who knew it was so easy?!

Now that you've read this, go stand!