Sitting, Is It Killing You?
Sitting, is it killing you? Check this guy out, he's handsome and hardworking! Also of note: he is sitting with his hips bent at 90 degrees, his knees bent at 90 degrees, his tailbone tucked (way. way) under, his chest is collapsed and his head leaning far forward from his body.
Ouch. My butt is going numb just looking at him sitting like that.
I don't mean to pick on him. He could be any one of us (including myself), and often is. Think about how many times a day you end up in this position.
Sitting on the couch watching TV:
Sitting to eat dinner with your family:
Sitting to drive to and from work (bonus points for nasty, stressful traffic):
Sitting to help the kids with their homework:
You start to add up all that time and the amount of time you spend sitting in this one single position starts to look like a LOT.
So, let's find out for real, how many hours do you sit a day?
Take this test to find out!
The answer: probably a LOT more than you would have first guessed.
Surely by now you have heard the news, "SITTING IS THE NEW SMOKING" or something along those lines. If you haven't, you obviously live under a rock, in a forest, or don't own a TV or computer and I am insanely jealous.
Not that I totally disagree with them, but I think that they ignore the (much) bigger picture.
The sitting isn't really the problem, the stillness is.
We are designed to move. We are designed to move so much so that 80% of our brains are used to monitor, regulate and control movement. EIGHTY PERCENT y'all.
Here's the thing about these headlines that bothers me, it's not sitting in that one particular position that's the problem. The problem is that you spend way too much time in that one exact position. There is NO ergonomic way to stay in one shape all day, because we aren't meant to be still all day.
We are designed to move. Constantly. Throughout the day.
Every. (Damn). Day.
Some of the solutions that ergonomics departments have come up with are brilliant and useful to help make people more comfortable and to get them out of that one singular sitting position that is currently so popular in our culture (the standing desk comes to mind, and I LOVE a standing desk y'all). But it's time to honest, if you spend 8 hours a day standing in the exact same position, then you will eventually develop a proportional amount of health problems to the ones we're facing right now, they'll just be different ones. The problem isn't the position, it's the lack of movement (and no, movement and exercise are not the same thing, you can't fix it with 30 minutes on the elliptical machine).
Massage therapy is great for addressing the postural and musculoskeletal issues that arise from too much stillness (because manual therapy is really just a way to introduce MOVEMENT back into your tissues) as well as helping with the circulatory and nervous system limitations that too much stillness will cause.
Suggestions for adding more movement to your day (and life in general)
sit on the floor to watch TV
take your work calls while going for a walk
suggest walking meetings to your coworkers/employer
set an alarm to get up every hour from your computer while at work (go to the bathroom, get a glass of water, do a lap around the office, stretch)
try switching between sitting and standing to do computer work.
regular movement practice
Again, I am not demonzing sitting. Sitting is a natural and normal part of the human experience when done in moderation. What I do want, very dearly is for you to be mindful and aware of how you move throughout your days and how it is affecting you.
Your partner in wellness,
Remedy Massage owner and therapist,
Lyndsey Anderson NC LMBT#9382
Remedy Massage is a privately-owned, therapeutic massage therapy practice in Raleigh, NC. Contact us by phone at 919-263-0932 by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or book online through Massagebook to schedule your appointment. We look forward to meeting and working with you!