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What's the Problem with Chairs?

By Sara Butler

Back pain is a problem for a lot of people, a problem made worse by spending too much time in chairs. The British Journal of Sports Medicine has reported that all the sitting in today's society is having a big impact on people's health as well as their rates of back pain. So, what can you do about it? Here are a few things to help you navigate the perils presented to you by chairs.

What Makes Sitting So Bad, Anyway?

Did you ever see the movie Wall-E? In it, people sat all day in special chairs that transported them around to wherever they needed to be. They didn’t have to walk at all, and because of this when they were all dumped from their chairs, their muscles couldn't support their body weight. Now, that might be an exaggeration of a sedentary future, but it can’t be argued that people are spending more and more time sitting and it's definitely not healthy.

The underlying issue is that your fitness is a total “use-it-or-lose-it” situation. Everything in your body works and is improved through feedback. Without a stimulus, nothing will heal or work better. When you sit in a chair all day you may notice that your shoulders, lower back, and hips bother you. This is because you may be holding one posture for too long throughout your day as well as shortening your hip muscles with all that sitting.

Active Couch Potato Syndrome

You may think you’re escaping the fate of lost fitness through too much chair sitting because you exercise, but the truth is that you can be an active couch potato. You may exercise a lot, but if you spend more time sitting than moving throughout the day then you’re an active coach potato and you're not escaping all the health consequences associated with sitting too much.

Studies have found that sitting for a couple of hours a day negated the activity performed in a moderately active person. So, kudos to you for exercising regularly, but it may not be enough to offset all that sitting.

What Should You Do?

The first step is to discuss this issue with your chiropractor. An exam can determine if you’re experiencing any joint restriction or joint dysfunction, then they can offer steps to correct it. After that, they can discuss the ways you can offset the damage all that sitting might be doing. They may suggest that you

  • Switch to a standing desk
  • Set an alarm every hour to remind you to get up and move around
  • Begin a regular stretching program

If you have any more questions about the impact of sitting on your overall health, discuss it with your chiropractor today!

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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