According to the study, every hour of TV that people watch, presumably sitting, cuts about 22 minutes from their lifespan, while it is estimated that smokers shorten their lives by 11 minutes per cigarette. (Please don’t use this as support for trading bad habits!)
This information is important for all of us to take to heart, in that frequent micro-breaks, i.e. getting up and moving around is essential for not only burning those five slices of CiCi’s or Amici’s pizza you consumed during lunch, but also to enable those neck and hip flexors to lengthen out of their prolonged contracted states(see previous articles on Upper and Lower Cross Syndromes). One reason that extended periods of uninterrupted sitting are bad for the lower back is that progressive tears can develop within the discs that are situated between the lumbar (predominantly) vertebrae. Once the pain reaches the chronic stage, a cascading, undesirable ability to perform the necessary activities of daily living becomes sadly apparent. Then, not only does it become difficult to impossible to walk or exercise, but the preferred assumed position then becomes lying down or walking like a descendant of Groucho Marx. Now, with being horizontal, muscle tone diminishes by as much as 30% in just 10 days! So, the importance of movement cannot be over emphasized. My clinical observation over 30 plus years has manifested a fairly consistent finding; a patient in pain presents on a Monday morning and inevitably wants to know ALL the exercises to do N O W while the symptoms are at their peak, having forgotten (or ignored) all that they should have been doing all along in order to PREVENT their current dilemma! Unfortunately, this is the time for crisis or acute care, not preventative. Thus, prolonged sitting, or inactivity, leads to reduced aerobic activity, progressive pain expression and not unsurprisingly, time on the DL (disabled list) for necessary or just recreational activities; unfortunately,unlike pro athletes who get paid regardless of whether they play, you most likely will not and will have to suffer through the recuperation process!
With the holiday season quickly approaching, NOW is the time to start moving during your work day. NOW is the time to become intentional. NOW is the time to show your concern for your loved ones by taking an active,participating role in your health! Have a truly blessed Thanksgiving.
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