Why Sitting Is bad For You
Homo-sapiens are designed to move, to squat, to kneel and to be in touch with the primal movements. These are basic and natural movements that have been used since our evolution. We did all of those and more as babies and continued to do so through childhood. Things started to change mid way into school life. Squats, kneels, jumps and rolls became things of the past, and got even more minimised into adulthood.
Sitting took centre-stage with the advent of technology and modern standards of life. Exercising became popular, but movements outside of the gym grew lesser and life became more sedentary. Unfortunately, this has lead to lack of mobility and stability while increasing the risk of injury. If pains and aches in our bodies have increased today, we have ourselves to blame. If weight management is not as effective as it ought to be after all those workouts, our lifestyle needs to be modified.
A recent gynaecological issue which ultimately led to total hysterectomy threw my otherwise fit body and active life out of gear. I found excuses to sit more and move less, and that made matters worse. Almost every part of my body ached day in and day out. The worst is behind me, now that I have taken control of my body and lifestyle.
Sit less, stand moderately and move more is my mantra now. My body is relatively free of many of the aches that had plagued me prior to the current state of mind and body. My own research has also thrown open many do’s and dont’s of the biomechanics of the human body, and its role in improving the quality of life.
Why Too Much Sitting Is Not Good For You
Movement is crucial to efficient functioning of all bodily functions like circulation, digestion, metabolism and immunity. With movement, our bodies regulate hormone activity, detoxify and respire.
Additionally, the pull of gravity on our bodies has its own benefits. The force of gravity apart from keeping us anchored to the ground, influences how our bodies work even at the cellular level. Did you know that astronauts, when they are in gravity-free state lose bone and muscle mass ? Similarly, when we sit for long hours and do not move often, we are depriving our bodies of the benefits of gravity on our cells and thereby bones, muscles etc,.
Speak to weight management coaches and they will tell you to sit less and move more.
I am listing below some pointers to bring home the above facts, backed by science and fitness coaches. Most useful for those who need to sit for long hours working online, or for IT professionals for whom the seated posture is an inevitability.
- Gravity plays a big role in our physiological process.
- The more you lie down with no reason, the more your body is affected for the worse.
- Even aged and ailing people must be encouraged to move as much as possible and even take some sunshine.
- Sitting is alright, but not for long hours. Interrupt your sitting every now and then. We are not designed to sit for long hours. It is not how many hours of sitting that’s bad for you, it is how often you interrupt the sitting that’s good for you.
- Standing continuously however is again not good for us.
- Sit for a while, stand up at intervals and move about at intervals. This is important even for those who exercise regularly. Weight management becomes that much easier when you move more often.
- At work place, don’t keep everything at hands reach.
- Keep the printer a few paces away.
- Get up and fetch your glass of water.
- Walk over to the pantry or canteen to have your tea.
- Don’t eat at your desk. Walk to the dining area, take a lunch break.
- Walk across to your colleague to sort out issues, don’t call him over the phone.
At home, do your jobs as much as you can. Encourage young ones at home to follow suit and lead by example.
Animals are no different. Lack of movement can compromise their wellness too. Pets need those walks and jogs too. They are happy to run around, so let them. Daily movements promote chemical changes and stimulate neural pathways which lets them heal and boost their immunity.
Sit less, stand moderately and move more !