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Sitting is the New Smoking

In today's fast-paced, technology-driven world, it's easy to fall into the trap of prolonged sitting. Whether we're glued to our desks for hours on end, commuting in cars, or lounging on the couch during our downtime, sitting has become a ubiquitous part of modern life. However, what many people fail to realize is that this seemingly harmless behaviour can have serious consequences for our health. The comparison might sound dramatic, but the evidence backing it up is undeniable. Research has shown that prolonged sitting can have some significant effects on our health.

Over the years, there has certainly been a rise in sitting and a sedentary lifestyle. In today's society, many of us find ourselves sitting for prolonged periods, whether it's at a desk job, during long commutes, or while binge-watching our favorite shows. While the convenience of modern technology has undoubtedly improved our lives in many ways, it has also led to a decline in physical activity.

The consequences of prolonged sitting may extend far beyond only physical pain or discomfort. While back pain and muscle stiffness are common complaints among desk-bound workers, the effects of sedentary behaviour go much deeper. Studies have linked prolonged sitting to a myriad of health problems, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and even certain types of cancer. Furthermore, sedentary behaviour has been shown to have detrimental effects on mental health, contributing to an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.

So, what can be done to combat the negative effects of prolonged sitting? Here are some practical solutions:

  1. Take Regular Movement Breaks: Set a timer to remind yourself to get up and move around every hour. Even a short walk around the office or a few stretches can help counteract the effects of prolonged sitting.

  2. Invest in Ergonomic Furniture: Consider investing in a standing desk or an ergonomic chair to promote better posture and reduce strain on your muscles and joints. Personally, I like to switch from standing to sitting every hour.

  3. Incorporate Physical Activity Into Your Routine: Make time for regular exercise outside of work hours. Whether it's going for a walk, hitting the gym, or taking a yoga class, finding ways to stay active can help offset the effects of prolonged sitting. But remember, 1 hour of exercise a day is NOT enough to combat 8+ hours of sitting.

  4. Use Active Transportation: Whenever possible, opt for active modes of transportation like walking or cycling instead of driving or taking public transit. Not only will you get some exercise, but you'll also reduce your time spent sitting.

  5. Practice Good Posture: Be mindful of your posture while sitting. Keep your feet flat on the floor, your back straight, and your shoulders relaxed to prevent strain on your muscles and spine.

In addition to these lifestyle changes, seeking out Chiropractic Care can offer significant benefits for those struggling with the effects of prolonged sitting. Chiropractors specialize in addressing musculoskeletal issues, including those caused by poor posture and prolonged sitting. Through spinal adjustments, corrective exercises, and lifestyle counselling, chiropractic care can help alleviate discomfort, improve posture, and enhance overall well-being.

By combining lifestyle modifications with proactive healthcare measures like chiropractic care, we can take control of our health and well-being in an increasingly sedentary world. Our health is a result of the cumulative effects, both positive and negative, of the things we do every day. Remember, small changes can make a big difference when it comes to breaking the cycle of prolonged sitting and prioritizing our long-term health.

Dr. Alfredo is a health enthusiast who’s goal is to help people and families live healthier, happier lives. My philosophy on health is simple - our body’s have the amazing ability and potential to self-adapt, self-regulate and THRIVE in this world.

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