Balancing Out the Damage from Sitting

We sit.

We sit at work. We sit at school. We sit during our commute. We sit while waiting for appointments. We sit at the end of the day, on the couch or in the easy chair, book in hand or screens on.

Research shows that all of this sitting is bad for our health. Long sessions of sitting are associated with heart damage, and they may even shorten our life span. In addition to these very serious side effects, sitting may also cause pain in our spine, neck, and shoulders. So, what can you do?

1) Get up!

According to Mayo Clinic, we should take a break from sitting every 30 minutes. You may have a device on your wrist or in your pocket that can help with reminders. Take a few minutes to shake out your legs, take a quick walk, jump up and down, or go get a drink of water.

2) Sit properly.

While relaxing into a comfy deep chair feels so good, your body may be resting in a way that creates future pain and tension. This short video from MPR News offers practical advice on how to adapt a chair to better suit you.

Notice how you hold your body while you are sitting. Be an observer. This is how big changes happen, by learning how things are and trying a couple of small things to change them. If you can be a better (and less frequent) sitter, you may notice a decrease in back and neck pain and shoulder tension. Give these ideas a try and let us know what you notice.

Two ways to improve your proprioception – knowing where your body is in its environment – are through movement and massage. Both wake up the neural pathways, connecting your brain to your body. Both are great ways to tune in, to be conscious and considerate of your body. So, get connected, move your body regularly and book a shiatsu today!

[written by Lori]