Despite the fact that human beings are built to move, studies show that we’re sitting far too much and engaging in far too little physical activity, at a cost.

Australia’s National Health Survey 2020-21 indicated that nearly half (49.4%) of employed people aged 18-64 years described their work-day as mostly sitting. What’s more, only one in 4 (24.5%) people aged 18-64 years met the recommended physical activity guidelines.

What is all this sitting doing to us?

Compromised cardiovascular health, increased cancer risk, sluggish metabolism, increased weight, decreased blood circulation, and poor overall mental health are just some of the issues related to sitting for long hours.

Here’s how sitting also complicates the functioning of each part of our musculo-skeletal system:

What can moving more do for you?

Simply by moving more, you can address most of the damage caused by a sedentary lifestyle. A movement-based lifestyle has the potential to reduce stress, improve sleep, reduce risk of various illnesses, aid healing, and improve mental well-being. It can also improve muscle tone, bone strength, and joint health, and reduce stiffness.

If moving more sounds daunting, here’s how to get started

The Department of Health and Aged Care recommends 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate-intensity physical activity every week, or 1.25 to 2.5 hours of vigorous-intensity physical activity – such as jogging, aerobics, fast cycling, soccer or netball, or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous activities.

If you are unused to physical activity or suffer from any chronic conditions or musculoskeletal issues, consult your doctor or chiropractor before embarking on an exercise program.

Always warm up and stretch before starting an exercise routine, and cool down and stretch afterward too.

Include these into your movement practice:

In some cases, sitting constantly may have already reduced your ability to move. You may be suffering from pain, tensed muscles, and reduced mobility. A visit to your chiropractor could help you tackle this, through adjustments that reduce pain or improve movement and balance.

A final note: practise mindful sitting

Besides adding more movement, examine how much and where you sit – at home, in the car, on a plane, in an office or classroom – and come up with active alternatives.

If you’re usually sitting in front of the TV, use an exercise machine while watching your favorite show. If you spend a lot of time seated reading, try audiobooks. If you tend to sit with your friends and family for a chat, opt for activities like walks or billiards that also let you socialise. Your chiropractor could help you figure out such alternatives while also correcting the damage from the unavoidable sedentary activities you engage in.


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