When you think about what you do in any given day, you’d probably list working and eating and sleeping – maybe working out or playing with the kids, things like that. It would be a rarity for people to actually list “sitting” as one of their activities in their daily lives. No one really thinks of sitting as an activity – and there’s a good reason for this. You are not actually active when you’re sitting. But as something we do every day, believe it or not, sitting tops the list. We do it more now than we sleep – over nine hours are given to sitting as compared to a little less than eight hours sleeping.
Now that we have your attention, you can see that all this sitting is changing our health picture. When you sit for long periods of time, your ability to burn fat decreases significantly because you stop producing the enzymes that burn fat in our bodies – the decrease runs around 90 percent. Your sedentary “activity” will also contribute to a rise in your bad HDL cholesterol. The lack of physical movement for as long as we are sitting is also making us sicker with regard to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and several types of cancer.
There are some things you can do to make things better as you sit, though, and that is some welcome news. The raised awareness in concern for sitting has helped promote different ways to sit including the Swiss balance ball – either as a chair or just using it on the floor – which helps us by making us constantly move in minute ways to stay balanced on the ball. There is also the Swedish backless chair where you balance on the lower part of your legs with the seat under your thighs. This is also better for your back and your posture and makes you move slightly to stay balanced. The advent of the standing desk system is another response to the health risks posed by sitting as much as we are now in our office settings.
Even though these systems are making inroads into office life, they certainly are not mainstream yet. You will still see the standard office chair and desk configurations for the most part in office settings. So ways you can make a difference for yourself there include making sure you are keeping good posture to avoid squeezing your organs and crimping your back and neck. Make sure you are sitting with your thighs at a 90 degree angle to your feet that are planted firmly on the floor. Your monitor should be directly in front of your sightline. And you want to make sure you are using a headset rather than keeping a handset pressed between your ear and shoulder.
Finally, you should consider the benefits of physical therapy for helping keep your body in better shape and able to deal with what sitting long periods of time does to you physically. Getting things lined up can help you be healthier all around. Your Miami Beach physical therapist can help get your body aligned and pain free and suggest the right ergonomics for your work place that can help you be healthier as well. Discover the way to better health with physical therapy in Miami Beach and call Anatomy PT at (305) 934 3698, or visit them at Suite 500, 301 Arthur Godfrey Rd., Miami Beach, Florida or online at www.anatomyphysicaltherapymiami.com.