FEELING GREAT: Could sitting become the new smoking?

MODERN LIFE: Sitting is the norm nowadays both at home, school and work
MODERN LIFE: Sitting is the norm nowadays both at home, school and work

Sitting is something that was once done only when you needed a rest.

But not anymore. Sitting had now almost become a dangerous norm.

Whether in your car, at work, for dinner, for coffee, to chat, to watch the TV, to use the computer, we’re all most constantly sitting.

Think about your typical daily routine for a moment and you might realise that you spend an alarming number of hours in a chair. If it’s more than nine, you could have problems. Here’s why.

We weren’t designed to sit. Our bodies are not shaped to do so nor do they have the natural ability to cope with spending all of our time sat.

In fact, sitting has become so frequent and so extensive that it’s very unlikely you’ll ever question how much of it you do. It’s a case of everyone else is doing lots of it, so it must be ok.

It could almost be very similar to the smoking boom of previous generations – everyone once did it and nobody ever questioned it until the damaging health studies were produced some years later.

The reality is we need to sit less. Even just spending an hour sitting you reduce your bodies ability to burn fat by up to 90 per cent and it slows down your body’s metabolism significantly.

This can reduce the amount of good cholesterol in your body. Without good cholesterol you’re at a greater risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Excess sitting in wrong positions is also the number one cause of back pain for people who visit my physiotherapy clinic. The pressure from poor sitting damages the lower back and can lead to things like sciatica and stiffness in the joints – really common problems that I see in my physio clinic.

All of these things combined are the reasons that you shouldn’t be surprised if your work place introduces a standing desk area.

They’re really effect at allowing you to carry on with your work but reduce impact through your spine. Consider a walking meeting, if you need to talk for a while on your mobile, could you go for a walk outside to do it? and even if your meeting up with friends for a coffee this weekend, Hartlepool’s marina is a beautiful place for a stroll with a takeaway cup in hand.

By Paul Gough