We all know we need to keep fit and eat healthily. It is often easier said than done. But did you know the body needs regular movement to stay healthy too? As an osteopath I am obsessed with the body; the way it functions and moves. Problems with the movement and function of the body can lead to physical and health problems.
This has been known by personal trainers and health therapists for some time; doctors are now picking it up too. Sitting has even being likened to being as bad as smoking!
In today’s world we all spend much time sitting, at work, commuting or relaxing on the sofa. Even when we try to do the recommended 30-60 minutes exercise per day, it still leaves many hours a day spent sitting…
Recent studies have linked long hours sitting to increased rates of cancer, heart disease, increased blood pressure, IBS, metabolic disorders and last but not least – back pain!
So what can you do about it?
Change they way you structure your day and move regularly. Some have proposed having a treadmill instead of using a chair! Although this may be a great idea, it’s not always the most practical.
Some more practical ideas involve:
- Setting an alarm by your desk so you do not stay still for too long. I recommend every 20 mins. Get up and walk round, stretch, climb the stairs or grab a breath of fresh air. (Regular breaks also help improve your work concentration and productivity.)
- Use the stairs rather than the lift.
- Take your lunch break; go for a walk, swim, jog, yoga lesson or what ever exercise you enjoy.
- Having a dog encourages regular exercise; a happy dog is a well exercised one.
- If you find you lack the willpower to exercise regularly try getting a personal trainer, meeting up with friends, or entering an event.
- Another easy way of adding movement into your life is to walk or cycle rather than take the train or bus.
- Even getting off the train or bus a stop early and walking the last bit will all add up.
Enjoy moving, exercising, eating healthily and being healthy. You only have one body. Take care of it.
Even if you take on just one of these get moving suggestions it will help you feel better and ease your back pain. And of course if you have any questions or concerns just ask me or one of my colleagues and we’ll be only too pleased to support you.
Sedentary Behavior and Mortality in Older Women; The Women’s Health Initiative
Sitting time and all-cause mortality risk in 222 497 Australian adults. Arch Intern Med. 2012 Mar 26;172(6):494-500. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2011.2174.
Too Much Sitting: The Population-Health Science of Sedentary Behavior. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. Author manuscript; available in PMC Jul 25, 2012.