Thanks to rapid technological advancements (cars, computers, TVs, etc), we’re now sitting more than ever… and losing our health because of it! Over 25% of Americans sit for more than 8 hours every day. A 2011 study found that people who sit the most have a greater risk of disease and death:
- 112% increased risk of diabetes.
- 147% increased risk of cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke.
- 90% increased risk of death from cardiovascular events.
- 49% increased risk of death from any cause.
Prolonged sitting causes blood flow to slow down. This can allow fats to build up in the blood vessels, contributing to heart disease. Sitting for extended periods of time may also lead to insulin resistance which can cause type 2 diabetes and obesity - 2 more major risk factors for heart disease. Too much sitting can also contribute to blood clots. A 2018 study found that 82% of people who suffer from blood clots, sat for a significantly greater amount of time than the remaining 18%.
Extended sitting also causes muscular imbalances which negatively impacts the mechanics of your spine. When you sit too long, the hamstrings and hip flexor muscles shorten. This causes a change in the angle of the pelvis, putting more stress on the lumbar discs, making them more prone to injury and contributing to poor posture. Eventually, the thoracic spine starts to round and shoulders slump forward. If you have to sit all the time, keeping your hip flexors and hamstrings flexible and balanced will definitely help your spine stay healthy longer. Come to the office and ask our rehab staff to show you some simple stretches and exercises that will help you do this. A chiropractic check-up will also be very important to make sure that your spine remains in good alignment.
Beaumont Health: https://www.beaumont.org/about-us
Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/atus.nr0.htm
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2016/16_0263.htm
The Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005
University of Leicester: https://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/press-releases/2012/october/new-study-finds-that-sitting-for-protracted-periods-increases-the-risk-of-diabetes-heart-disease-and-death