As technology advances, the way we work changes, too. For many of us, this means that we no longer labor in fields or factories, but instead spend many hours each day sitting in front of a computer. We go to the office and sit and work at our desks, we sit in our cars in traffic, and go home to sit on the sofa. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys found that 50-70% of us spend more than six hours each day sitting. This trend toward a more sedentary lifestyle has had an alarming effect on our collective health. Previous research has shown that a sedentary lifestyle increases inflammation, and puts you at an increased risk for heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and colon cancer. Martha Grogan, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist has said “For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking.” While this is disturbing, it is important to note that the effects of sitting too much can be avoided with regular physical activity.
You don’t have to make sweeping changes and difficult sacrifices to offset the effect of having to sit so much. Take regular breaks to stretch and move around throughout the day, working up to the recommendation of standing for 20 minutes of each hour. This is especially important to maintain health in the parts of our bodies that have been in constant contraction while sitting, like the hips and lower back. Walking 30 minutes each day has been shown to decrease the chance of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and type-2 diabetes by 40 percent. To achieve this goal for activity, park farther out at the grocery store and bank, and forego the elevator for the stairs when you can. Use a pedometer to track your steps; it’s helpful to know how much you move each day, and it’s encouraging to watch your activity level increase. In addition to regular physical activity, proper nutrition is essential to keep you energized and motivated to move.
At Balanced Health and Wellness, we use a multi-faceted, drug-free approach to help you combat the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Through chiropractic care, nutritional counseling, exercise consultations, and massage, our skilled staff will develop a personal plan that you can implement to achieve optimum wellness. It’s easier than you may think to take control of your health and make changes that will help you live better and longer. Call us today for a personal consultation.