5 Tips to Counter the Health Risks of Sitting
Most of us are aware that sitting for long periods has serious consequences for our health, leaving us at higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and, of course, back, neck, and shoulder pain.
Unfortunately many of us have desk-based jobs which require us to sit. So what can you do to counter the effects of sitting?
- Fidget. Shifting around in your chair is beneficial. Even changing your foot position is advantageous. Try placing one foot under your chair for example; it will have the effect of tilting your pelvis forward, forcing you to sit upright.
- Sit on a wobble cushion. An inexpensive wobble cushion placed on your chair will help you to keep moving while you sit. Most importantly, it varies the position in which your hips are held.
- Stretch. As a mentor of mine likes to say “motion begets motion”. It doesn’t matter too much what you do; move and stretch your body, challenge the effects of gravity, and you will do yourself some good. See the video in my blog about stretches for the trunk (thoracic spine), if you need inspiration.
- Take regular breaks from sitting. 1 minute every 10-15 minutes ideally.
- Consider a standing desk. Several studies show that standing desks can dramatically improve low back pain either caused or aggravated by sitting. Other studies demonstrate benefits in terms of weight loss, decreased blood sugar levels, and decreased risk of heart disease.