In the 8th edition of our Monday Myth series, we’re going to talk about sitting being the new smoking! This is a very common saying in today’s world, but we actually think that this is a myth!
We certainly don’t think that sitting often and for long periods of time is great, but what are you replacing sitting with? Many people decide to ditch their office chair and they resort to only standing!
Standing is great – it works your leg muscles, uses your posture muscles in your back and core differently, provides a variation in posture compared to sitting, and it can actually help with digesting food after a meal. These are a few of the pros of standing compared to just sitting all day.
However, we often see in our clinic, that people who quit sitting cold turkey set themselves up for other issues. If you are used to sitting for 8-12 hours a day, it is quite a shock on your body when you decide to toss away your chair and replace it with standing. Sometimes, we see a slight uptick in low back tightness, hip discomfort, and knee pain when this sudden switch is performed.
We know you have great intentions for making this switch, we just want to help make the transition a little smoother for you! This will make you less susceptible to the aches and pains that come with an office or desk job, or any situation where you must stay in one place for a long time.
Lack of Movement is the New Smoking
When desiring to improve your low back health, posture, and energy levels; ditching sitting is a smart move. However, standing all day is not the answer. Gradually spending more time moving, walking, stretching, and standing is the answer!
Our joints don’t get blood flow unless we move them! We need to regularly move our joints so that they get the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that they need, because that’s found in our blood. This can be one of the easiest ways to improve your joint health – move regularly! This means change positions. Spend some time standing, then go for a 2 minute walk, then sit for 30 minutes, then do 1 minute of stretching. The point is not not stay in the same posture for too long!
Our body also responds to what we do, meaning if we sit or stand all day, our muscles, joints, nerves, ligaments, and tendons get used to that one position that they’re in. If you’re in the same position all the time, then this can set you up to tight muscles and eventually lack of mobility, because you’re basically stuck in that one position all the time. The solution – move around and change your posture often.
Instead of completely replacing, sitting with standing, sit some, stand some, and then take breaks as often as your schedule allows and move around. If you want something to be the new smoking, inactivity is the new smoking. So don’t always sit. Don’t always stand. Combine the two and move around as much as you can and keep your neck and low back joints, nerves, ligaments, tendons, and muscles healthy!
If you know someone in the Saint Johns, Florida area (Durbin Crossing, Aberdeen, Rivertown, Julington Creek Plantation, Beachwalk, Silverleaf) who is not able to live the active lifestyle that they want because of an injury or pain and could benefit from our thorough approach and comprehensive care, please share this post with them or send them our way!
We are conveniently located in between CR 210 and Race Track Road, near where St. Johns Parkway and Longleaf Pine intersect! Right across the street from Patriot Oaks Academy in the 32259 zip code! Only 4 minutes from Durbin Pavilion!