Why Sitting is bad for your back
DID you know that we spend 36 years of our adult life sitting down?
This isn’t new information, by the way. It’s been around since 2008, when a skin care company did the research (what on earth were they looking for?) and came out with the finding that we spend 14 hours and 28 minutes perched on chairs or sofas every single day.
Winston Churchill had a standing desk
The point here is that sitting down is bad for your back—and not only that. Professor James Levine of the Mayo Clinic, who has written a book Get up! Why Your Chair Is Killing You, says that too much sitting is a leading cause of heart disease, obesity, cancer, depression, diabetes and crumbling bones.
“Excessive sitting,” he says, “Is a lethal disease.”
The problem is that many of us are stuck in more or less the same position at our desks throughout the working day. A lot of people with desk jobs are likely to spend more time sitting on their office chairs than lying in bed at night. It’s a good idea to stand up, or better still, take a walk every 40 minutes or so.
Sitting is bad for your back: excessive pressure
“From an anatomical point of view, we have not evolved to sit,” says Tim Hutchful from the British Chiropractor Association. “Whether you’re hunched over your computer or slouching on the sofa, if you’re in a position where the angle between your thighs and torso is below 90 degrees, you’re putting excessive pressure on the spine.”
Ernest Hemingway stood up to write
According to UCLA Ergonomics (the University of California, Los Angeles), the best guidelines for sensible sitting are:
-Your feet should reach the floor
-Five chair legs are better than four for stability
-Your hips should be at the same level, or higher, than your knees
-Your forearms ought to rest easily on the arm rests
-You should sit completely against the back of the chair
All these should help, but above all, GET UP! as Professor Levine suggests. Keeping your body in motion at regular intervals can stave off a bushel of health problems—not least developing a sore back.
Benjamin Franklin stood up to write
You might want to try standing instead of sitting when you’re working at the computer or elsewhere.
You’ll be in distinguished company: Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, and Benjamin Franklin all wrote while standing. Churchill even had a special “standing desk”.
Didn’t seem to do their writing any harm either.
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