Frequently Asked Questions
What are the effects of sitting too long?
The effects of sitting too long include increased stress on spinal joints, decreased circulation, increased blood pressure, decreased metabolic rate leading to weight gain, poor posture, and increases in headaches, neck pain, upper back pain, and low back pain.
How does sitting impact your body?
Sitting increases the stress on your spine. It also increases the stress on the heart since healthy circulation requires regular movement. The increased spinal stress can lead to poor posture as well as headaches, neck pain, upper back pain, and low back pain.
How much sitting is too much?
Sitting for more than one hour at a time is sitting too long.
Does sitting make your butt flat?
Sitting too long can change the buttocks. It is important if you sit a lot to remember to train your gluteal muscles regularly as well as get regular exercise.
What muscles get weak from sitting?
The paraspinal muscles tend to get weak when we sit too much. These muscles help hold up our spine and maintain good posture. It is important to get regular exercise to stimulate these muscles.
Is lying down healthier than sitting?
Lying down takes the pressure off of the spine. It isn’t necessarily healthier than sitting. Too much lying down can also cause problems. The key is to move around. You can sit for some time as well as lay down for some time.
Is standing better than sitting?
Standing decreases stress on the spine. A good workstation includes a sit and stand option. Sit and stand desks are becoming very popular because it allows the person to have options. A combination of sitting and standing throughout the day is the healthiest option
What to do after sitting all day?
If you’ve been sitting all day, take a nice walk and do some stretches at the end. This circulates the blood and stimulates postural muscles. If you don’t like walking, join an exercise class. The key is to keep your body moving. This keeps your joints healthy.
Hey everybody, it's Dr. Aaron Seaton with The Chiropractic Place. Today's video is about the effects of sitting on our body. Many of my patients have a job that requires them to sit at the desk, and they work six, eight-plus hours a day. They talk to me about having headaches, chronic neck pain, upper back pain, chronic low back pain, and a lot of that is due to the effects of sitting, so I thought I should make a video to educate our people about what that does to our body long-term, what those effects can be. So with sitting, the first thing to remember is that our joints need the motion to stay healthy; whether that's the joints in your hand, shoulder, neck, upper back, low back, your knees, it doesn't matter. Joints need movement to stay healthy. It's how they pump in nutrition, especially in the spine. We can pump nutrition into our discs by moving. It helps remove the waste products from our joints as well, so everything has waste, everything that's alive, that has metabolic activity, has waste products and needs to get rid of it.
So joints need the motion to stay healthy. When we sit a lot when joints don't move, we actually have a 50% increase in the load in the joints in our spine. So any time you sit, your neck, upper back, and lower back, those joints are working 50% harder. And when we are sitting, we are not moving, and remember what we just talked about movement, the neck, the upper back, the low back, these joints, these areas of our spine need movement to stay healthy, so long-term changes to posture is another effect of sitting. When we sit, a lot of the muscles relax, and we kind of start to slouch, and what that does is it puts a lot of stress on the ligaments around our spine and the joints themselves because the muscles which should be active in holding us up are relaxed, so what that can cause over time is atrophy to certain postural muscles that hold us in place and keep us upright. And that is a negative effect too. And those put even more stress on the joints as those muscles get weaker, so that's another effect. Another thing that we see with people who sit a lot, have a sedentary lifestyle, we know we see increases in blood pressure, movement helps us circulate our blood, a lot of patients think, "Oh well, my heartbeats, and that circulates my blood."
Your movement also circulates the old blood back to the heart to get more or back to the heart to get circulated to the lungs to get more oxygen, so getting up and moving around will help with blood pressure issues. The other issue we see to a lot of people who sit too much - decreased metabolic rate, it tends to make us more prone to gaining weight, and this becomes a kind of a slippery slope when you start adding all this stuff up together. Sitting too much can cause neck pain, upper back pain, and low back pain if we're starting to see increased weight gain, which puts even more stress on the spine, causing neck pain, upper back pain, and low back pain headaches. Changes to the posture can happen when we sit too much weakening the muscles around the spine to cause more stress. So you see, all this stuff just kind of adds up together. So if you have a job or you sit a lot, it's very important for you to get regular exercise, maintain a balanced diet, keep your diet healthy, make sure you're taking frequent breaks to get up and move around and circulate your blood in your body and also get your joints moving to pump nutrition into those joints and get waste products out.
The other thing about that frequent movement is that you're going to see a lot of decreases in your neck pain, upper back pain, and low back pain, just from getting up and moving around. The final piece I always touch on with my patients is that your need for ongoing chiropractic care is vital. When you sit a lot, those joints can get stuck and not move properly, and getting regular chiropractic care restores that motion to those joints, gets them moving properly again, so they can work properly, and prevents a lot of wear and tear from happening in there. So hopefully, this video is helpful to you in understanding the effects of sitting. Hopefully, it motivates you to get up and move around more and make sure you're getting your regular exercise. Do you have any questions about this? Give us a call at the office. I'm Dr. Aaron Seaton with The Chiropractic Place.
*The transcription is auto-generated by a program and may not be accurate. In order to ensure you get all the information from the video properly, you must watch the video.