I see it in myself, I see it in others. There is a saying that goe something like this, move it or lose it. And if we don’t move it, then we lose it. Our society is increasingly sedentary, and even people like me, who have always been active, have found ourselves sitting more than ever. This is bad, and it’s not just me who knows it. Here an excerpt from a post on the Mayo Clinic site talking about this subject:
“Movement. It seems like the simplest thing in the world. Our bodies are designed to run, jump and manipulate objects, among other miracles of locomotion. But how often do we use our bodies at their full potential?
Sit. Stay. Repeat.
“We’ve made sitting into an art form,” says James Levine, M.D., Ph.D., director of Obesity Solutions at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and Arizona State University. “Excess sitting is now linked with 35 diseases and conditions, including obesity, hypertension, back pain, cancer, cardiovascular disease and depression,” he says. “Governments such as Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom have identified sedentary life as a catastrophe.”
It’s estimated that the current generation of children will die earlier than their parents, and Dr. Levine says many of these projected deaths could be due to diseases linked to sedentary lifestyles. “Physical movement benefits school performance. It can increase children’s grades by 10 percent to 15 percent,” says Dr. Levine.
Excessive sitting is a fairly new problem in human history, according to Dr. Levine. “Two hundred years ago, 90 percent of the world lived in agricultural communities,” he explains. “People sat for three to five hours per day, but only to take breaks from working. Modern Americans sit for 13 to 15 hours per day.”
Whether our ancestors were field workers, community dance leaders or hairdressers, they still walked several miles a day and only sat for brief periods. Compare that to today’s average office worker, who takes a few steps to the car and drives to work to sit in a sea of cubicles for most of the day. “Therefore, perhaps it’s not that surprising that there are consequences for sitting all day long,” says Dr. Levine. “We’re not designed to do it.”
I see it in my massage practice. It’s not the athletes who come to me for pain relief, they come because they know their bodies have been pushed hard and I can help release any toxins which have built up. More often than not I work on people who sit too much. As the article states, we weren’t designed for that, and it hurts our muscles, it affects our circulation and it causes us to become anxious and depressed. At the very least, get up from your desk, stop the car, and take a brisk walk at regular intervals. It’s even better if you can pencil in time every single day to stretch, take a walk, or a swim or a bike ride, and make sure to take the stairs instead of the elevator.