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Here you will find great tips for healthy living, nutritional advice, and the latest news on health studies and research.

Tag Archives: sitting

What a Pain in the Neck…!!

Did you know many people seem to think neck pain and tight upper shoulders is normal? Especially if their job requires hours daily on the computer. The easiest way to prevent neck pain is to figure out the cause and in my profession, people sitting hours on end, at a computer, seems to top the cake for neck pain. Some people get so accustomed to the pain and tightness they actually ignore it until it is far advanced. Some causes include poor posture, by which workspace ergonomics such as poor positioning of computer keyboards and monitors are quite capable in contributing to neck pain. Sleep issues become an issue when the neck is sore and tight and there is an ongoing quest to find the right pillow to get one through the night. Don’t forget that most all of us tend to look down at our cell phones much of the day putting maximum stress on the muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons of the neck. When the neck is the issue, talk to your chiropractor about how to stop and prevent these types of overuse injury!!

Sitting and Heart Damage (it’s real)

Check this out!! If you haven’t heard, sitting for long periods every day is bad for us. If fact, it increases the risk for diabetes and cancer and doubles the risk for cardiovascular disease. More importantly, now we know how. When we sit all day, it is linked to a buildup of certain proteins called troponins, which heart muscles release when they are damaged. These are markers that physicians look at when diagnosing a heart attack. Researchers found that those who sit more than 10 hours a day had above normal troponin levels. They referred to this condition as “subclinical cardiac injury” which isn’t quite high enough to qualify as heart attack level damage. People who sit more have more signs of this particular heart damage. Thus, there is likely a strong connection between sitting and chronic heart damage even if there isn’t clear definitive causation at this time. The bottom line is to move and move often, exercise and stop sitting so much…!!

Stand or sit, that is the question!!

If you think sitting too much is bad for your health, (it is), then this will open your eyes. Just when you’re tired of heath articles with bad news, this comes along. I read a synopsis of a study that said too much standing may be worse than too much sitting. A study of over 7300 factory workers were twice as likely to develop heart disease than those who sat, according to the study. Always being upright can cause blood to pool in the lower extremities rather than circulate back to the heart. Standing increases oxidative stress, triggering inflammation and over time this can increase cardiovascular risks. If you stand a lot, for any reason, for extended periods of time, it would serve your well to sit on a regular basis if possible!

TV & Blood Clots!!

Most people know that sitting too much can contribute to obesity, but did you know that spending too much time watching the TV may contribute to blood clots in the lungs?  A large study of 85,000 people suggests that adults who sit and watch more than 5 hours of television daily were more than 2.5 times likely to have a pulmonary embolism compared to those who watched less than two-and-a-half hours of TV.  The authors suggest that a way to reduce this risk is to constantly stand and stretch your legs and just reduce the amount of TV time daily.  Increasing physical activity can also help inhibit these types of clots!!

Standing at Work?

Did you know that during a typical work week, people spend almost 5 hours daily, sitting at their desks, and this doesn’t even count their drive time, or sitting at home eating or watching TV?  Finding the right blend of sitting and standing (moving) while at work can be complex.  The trend now is standing work stations where you can adjust your work station height to accommodate standing while working.  Sitting on a stability ball is another trend.  Why stand?  Standing helps burn calories, reduces the risk of cancer, lowers long term mortality risk, reduces risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as type 2 diabetes and other metabolic problems.  Alternating between sitting and standing is probably the best alternative to this dilemma.  Alternate between standing and sitting until you get at least 2 hours of standing and slowly work up to longer periods of standing.  The real key is alternating positions regularly while at work and not sitting for hours at a time while working on a project.  Move it people!! Stay healthy…!!

Activity vs. Inactivity and Risk of Mortality

Health Tip Today: I hope you won your Super Bowl bets! I saw an add the other day and the slogan was basically that “sitting is the new smoking”. It got me to thinking and I remembered some other blogs I wrote about sitting and posture and how sitting for extended periods really creates problems relative to our health. In fact studies have indicated that too much sitting can actually shorten our life spans. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that inactivity contributes to twice as many deaths as obesity. There is an increase risk-for-all cause mortality with lower levels of physical activity. The good news is that the bad effects of associated with sedentary time generally were decreased in magnitude with higher levels of physical activity compared to lower levels. The take home message is that we need to “move-it” if our jobs consist of extended sitting and inactivity. As little as 20 minutes of exercise a day can provide some very needed benefits.

Sitting, cardiovascular disease, you and kids!

Here is an important study not only for your benefit but your kids and grandkids.  In a small study of 7-10 year olds, researchers found out that sitting for extended periods caused stiffening of the thigh arteries at around 3 hours. There was a 33% decrease in thigh artery flexibility.  Researchers were stunned this would happen in children. This has long term ramifications for future health as this could increase cardiovascular risk by as much as 25% by the time they are adults.  Getting up and moving every 10 minutes helped return the vessel flexibility.  Children spend about 60% of their day sitting and being inactive. Thus, if you have a desk job or kids who computer things all day.  Time to get moving. I always tell my computer job-related patients to get up and move every 10-15 minutes.  Now we know why!

Low Back Pain & Prolonged Sitting

We all sit and sometimes we have jobs that require a lot of it. Taking care of the lower back is important in those situations. Did you know that sitting in the perfect posture, the lowest inter-vertebral joint in the spine (low back) is flexed at 60 percent of its total range of motion? That is a lot pressure on the low back. However, slouching causes the lower 3 inter-vertebral joints to approach their limits of flexion. This means slouching for long periods will increase the load on the back muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and discs that can cause problems. Take frequent short breaks if you sit a lot at work and find some lumbar support that keeps your posture upright. An ergonomic chair can help also! You might even discuss this with your boss and possibly get your company to purchase a good ergonomic chair for you!

Sitting And Posture

Seated posture is extremely important due to the fact that Americans are sitting longer. Slumped posture is associated with greater head flexion/neck flexion and increased activity of the extensor muscles in the neck that hold your head up. If this posture is repetitive, it can create fatigue, muscle tightness and pain. Adjusting the angle of the backrest of the chair and adding a lumbar roll for support in order to correct the slouching posture is a great way to improve this situation. Bad posture can even contribute to shoulder impingement issues. Stay healthy!