Welcome to Episode #2 of the Be Fit 2 Sit podcast!
I’m your host, Physio Kym Siddons and in this episode I talk about some of the Health Risks of sitting a lot and how we can avoid them.
Globally, we are gradually spending more time sitting- statistics suggest up to 12 hours a day for many of us, and rising!
This amount of sitting rose again during periods of isolation and restriction during the Covid-19 pandemic, so that we became even more ‘sedentary’.
Many of us even saw the result of this, as our levels of ’incidental exercise’ significantly decreased and we noticed things like weight gain.
In fact, PHYSICAL INACTIVITY is now reported to be the 4th highest risk factor for early death (morbidity) and the HIGHEST PREVENTABLE RISK FACTOR for death.
Yet, the onset of many chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, lung and kidney diseases, along with obesity can be delayed or avoided with greater levels of activity.
If you sit for more than a few hours a day- for work or learning, commuting or even in your ‘downtime’- listen up because there’s some simple things you can do to avoid serious health risks!
I also share the results of a long term study of workers in the USA who sit longer than 6hours a day, compared to those who don’t- the outcome may shock you!
Many of these serious side effects are caused by the simple fact that sitting causes our metabolism to slow right down.
Research being conducted in recent years by Professor Alan Hedge suggests that after an hour of sitting, our metabolic rate has seriously declined.
This leads to us feeling our energy levels drop, as we notice feeling lethargic and our brain not functioning as well as it should. Our circulation and other bodily functions also slow down.
We also often feel the effect of strain and pain in our musculoskeletal system, as our ‘postural muscles’ that hold us up against gravity, tire.
Our ligaments are then under increasing tension and our joints tend to stiffen.
The result can leave us feeling increasingly stiff, sore and sluggish the longer we sit without moving.
The GOOD NEWS is- there are simple steps you can take to avoid the pitfalls of Sitting!
Just a couple of minutes of movement, at least every hour- or even better- every half hour can reduce your risk and have you feeling happier and healthier as quick as a flash!
In fact, Professor Alan Hedge recommends working in approximately half hour cycles throughout your working / or learning day to keep your metabolism humming at its best.
This half hour cycle ideally consists of 20mins sitting (for focussed work), 8 minutes of standing, followed by two minutes of moving.
Spending too long in any one position or posture isn’t ideal for desk-bound workers or learners.
I discuss how this may not seem easy at first, but I make some practical suggestions in this episode.
I also encourage you to at least aim to move more often than the amount you’re currently moving (throughout your periods of sitting) and reap the rewards!
Moving a little bit, more often, is also the cheapest and simplest way to improve your health and reduce load on your body, by far!
So I challenge you to give moving a few minutes, every half hour, a try and see how much more energised you feel!
Your muscles will also thankyou!
If you’d like to access my FREE video walking you through the BEST EXERCISES you can do AT YOUR DESK- to reduce drain, strain and pain- head to my website
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