The average American sits for 13 hours per day, and sleeps for another 8 hours. That’s 21 hours per day spent on sedentary activities, and very little spent on our feet.
Our jobs are one of the primary culprits in what public health officials are calling a “sitting epidemic”. Back in 1960, 50 percent of all jobs required physical activity, but today that number has dropped to only about 20 percent. Most of us are engaged in sedentary jobs all day, come home and watch TV at night, and then go to bed.
Unfortunately, all of that sitting will lead to an early death for some of us. The more you sit, the worse your health is likely to be, and statistics show that those who sit for more than six hours per day are at increased risk of an early death.
What can you do about it?
- Try a standing desk at work
- Go for frequent walks, even just a few minutes at a time
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Pace while taking phone calls, instead of sitting
- Drink more water; going to the bathroom more often throughout the day will require walking
- Go talk to co-workers in person, rather than emailing them
- Try a fitness app; aim to take at least 5,000 steps per day at first, and then continue to adjust upward as your schedule and fitness allows
Of course, just getting up and moving more often is only part of the battle. You might also wish to engage in aerobic exercise or a weight training regimen. Remember, when exercising, use proper form and technique. You don’t want to sustain an injury that lands you right back on the couch again.
And as long as you’re sitting – because it’s definitely still going to happen – make sure you use good posture. Sit with both hips planted firmly in your seat, and avoid wearing a wallet in a back pocket. Keep feet planted on the floor, and adjust your computer monitor so that it is placed directly in front of you. Avoid looking up or down for long periods of time, whether at a computer screen, cell phone, or TV.
If you’ve been feeling sore and out of sorts, call us to schedule an appointment. Chiropractic care can help you solve alignment issues caused by a sedentary lifestyle.