Did you know that sitting is now the new smoking ????
We were given legs for a reason, our bodies were built to move.
Most third world cultures don’t have chairs, they walk an average of 10 miles a day and we in the western world spent most of our entire waking day sitting down.
It’s the chairs fault !!!
Let me break it down……
- We go from bed to sitting at the toilet.
- After, we sit at the breakfast table.
- Then we sit in the car as we drive to work.
- At work, we spend the entire day sitting at a desk.
- Only getting up to sit at the toilet.
- Getting back to the seat at the desk to have lunch.
- Then sit back in the car to drive.
- Then we sit at the bar for happy hour.
- We sit in the car to drive home.
- Then we sit at the sofa to watch TV,
- before we crawl to bed to recover from all the exertion of that day
- ………. And repeat!
Medical experts have started to refer to long periods of sitting and its negative consequence as “Sitting disease”. There are many negative effects to sitting for long periods of time, the one I see every day in the students is tight hips, resulting in:
- Lower back pain
- Neck, shoulders pain
- Depressive Mood
- Excessive tiredness
- The tightness around the hips creates blockages, dilating the blood vessels, impeding the blood to flow freely with oxygen and nutrients.
Whilst you have to use your brain to work at the desk, you actually need to move your body and have an open body to allow enough oxygen to reach your brain. When this doesn’t happen your performance decreases, you get tired much quicker, have lack of concentration and less clarity.
How to combat the Sitting disease
Practising hip openers in class helps to open the freeway of energy between the lower part of the body and the upper part of the body. The problem is that very often we only think about the releasing tension in the hips when we go into hip opener poses. I teach in the hip opener workshop how to work through this tightness during the whole yoga practice.
In the meantime improve your general wellbeing by:
- Put a reminder on your phone and stand up for 5mins every hour
- Answer calls standing if you can walk around your office whilst on the phone
- Go for a walk around the office
- Stand up, do a few yoga poses, ie forward fold, or squats, or stretching the arms up towards the ceiling lengthening the whole body
- Work at a tall table, maybe a cafeteria tall table, perhaps the window sill, anything where you are standing