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Are you sitting for too long each day?

11 May 2012 2:55 PM - 7 simple tips to help you change that...
sitting is not good for your health

Have you ever considered that your digestive problems, aching back, stiff neck, headaches, sore hips, diabetes etc could be a result of your sedentary lifestyle?

I see many clients in my naturopathic clinic for all sorts of health issues and my objective as a naturopath is to get to the underlying cause of your problem. So, when I am getting to know your health history one of the things I will want to know is what your activity levels are like.

Many of us sit for long periods of time...especially in front of a computer (I'm certainly guilty as charged of this).  Maybe it is at work or it could be at home.  This is a less than ideal situation.  Even if we sit with "perfect sitting posture" (which the majority of us don't), sitting for extended periods of time may have many detrimental effects.  

Sitting (especially slouching) puts all sorts of strain on our neck, back, hips and more.  It restricts blood flow to our muscles and also our digestive organs and kidneys.  This restriction of circulation reduces the delivery of essential nutrients to our cells. 

There have been many studies looking at the health impacts of sitting, especially the effect it has on blood sugar and therefore the risk of developing diabetes.  You can learn more from the Baker Institute here

So what can you do to avoid too much sitting?  Here's some suggestions:

  • when you are on the phone...stand up

  • move the printer away from your desk

  • encourage "walking meetings" especially if they only involve two or three of you

  • go for a walk around the block at least at lunch time, if not more often

  • offer to do the morning coffee run

  • if you can, put a time limit on your sitting

  • stand on public transport

While the idea of a standing desk is becoming more popular, they are not yet all that common. But you may be surprised how even doing these little things can make a considerable difference to your daily "activity".  It will benefit your weight management and a whole lot more. 

If you are still struggling, try the FITBOLT website.  You can sign up for reminders which flash up on your computer.  You can set the time interval (mine is currently set for every 30 minutes) and it will give you a message and a suggested exercise you can do to help stretch or improve your strength and circulation.  Even if you don't do the exercises, at least it reminds you to get up and walk around.  I think it is great and it's FREE.

So, make a conscious effort to move a bit more and your body will thank you.  If you have any suggestions for how to incorporate activity in your day please add them to the comments below.

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Sitting may not be the only cause of your health problems but it could be a contributing factor. If you need expert naturopathic help to improve your health, call the clinic on 9620 9503.

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In good health,

 

Kaye Wright
Naturopath
Melbourne CBD

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