Are you sitting too long?

Sore shoulders? Stiff neck? Achy low back after a long day in the office? We’ve all been there and it’s not hard to understand why when we add up the hours spent sitting at the table, on the train, in the office, at a meeting, at lunch, back home on the train and slumped on the sofa in the evening! 

And it’s not just our muscles and joints that are being affected: studies have linked excessive sitting with being overweight and obese, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and early death.

Sitting for long periods is thought to slow the metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat. What’s more, studies are beginning to suggest that bursts of exercise at the weekend aren’t enough to counteract these effects. 

Too many patients of mine are suffering from ongoing pain, stiffness and achy tension which is worsened by sitting, so it’s a topic I feel strongly about. If you feel this applies to you, try these tips for reducing your daily sitting time:

– stand on the train or bus

– take the stairs and walk up escalators

– set a reminder to get up every 30 minutes

– place a laptop on a box or similar to work standing

– stand or walk around while on the phone

– take a walk break every time you take a coffee or tea break

– walk to a co-worker’s desk instead of emailing or calling

– swap some TV time for more active tasks or hobbies