How to Combat the Effects of Too Much Sitting

October 1, 2021

Feeling too old for your years? Sitting too much may be to blame for your aches, pains, and stiffness.  

Ever noticed how much time you spend sitting? Between working, carpooling kids, watching their sports games, and bingeing shows, there’s not a lot of time for us to get moving. Problem is, the more we sit, the worse we feel, and the more damage we’re doing to our overall health.

At The Vital Stretch, we know how easy it is to fall into the trap of being overly sedentary. You sit too much, causing different body parts to hurt. This makes you want to move less, so you sit more. It’s a vicious cycle, and one that can lead you down an unhealthy path to more pain, stiffness, and even disease.

Luckily, we are here to help. Through assisted stretching and our helpful tips to get moving, we can help you get you on the road to recovery.

The Dangers of Sitting Too Much

Sitting too much can boost pain, tighten hip flexors, and hamstring muscles, and stiffen joints. This can lead to balance issues, gait problems, back pain, and more. Being too sedentary can also increase your risk of chronic issues such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Oncology, sitting too much also can lead to more serious conditions like cancer.

How to Combat the Effects of Too Much Sitting

The best way to combat (and hopefully reverse) the negative effects of too much sitting is by moving. According to the researchers of that JAMAO study mentioned earlier, we should all aim to be moderately or vigorously active for at least 150 minutes every week. That’s about 21 minutes every day.

That’s easier said than done if you’re dealing with sore joints, tight muscles, or aggravated injuries. If that’s the case, it’s time to get stretched! PNF stretching is a combination of stretching and contracting your muscles. If performed by a certified stretch practitioner like those at TVS, this form of stretching has been proven to boost flexibility and increase your range of motion and strength.

Now that you’re feeling more limber, it’s time to get moving. Here are a few easy ways to schedule some extra exercise into your already packed schedule.

Easy Ways to Get Moving

  1. Set an alarm It’s easy to get stuck in the endless loop of working, reading, or watching TV. Try setting a timer to remind you to move. Whether it’s every 30 minutes or every hour, get up and walk, maybe do a few squats, then get back to it. A study published by the American Society of Nephrology found that walking for two minutes every hour was enough to help protect people from the dangers of over sitting.
  2. Watch TV While you Workout Have a favorite show, you’re in the midst of bingeing? Instead of lying prone with your hand deeply entrenched in a bag of chips, hop on a stationary bike or another piece of exercise equipment while you watch episode after episode.
  3. Make a date Working out and staying motivated is so much easier if you feel accountable. Call up a friend and set a standing date for a walk, run, or a game of pickleball. Whatever you enjoy doing, grab a buddy and start moving. You’ll have the bonus of some quality time with a friend, which is healing in and of itself.
  4. Exercise during commercials Instead of watching ads, use that time to get up and move. Stretch, do a few sit-ups, or plank your way through the break before returning to the couch. No commercials on your streaming service? Lucky you! Set a timer for 15 minutes and pretend it’s a commercial break.
  5. Buy a Standing Desk If you have extra cash hanging around, invest in a sit-stand desk so you can work while standing during a portion of the day.
  6. Stretch Set aside time to stretch at least once a day, more if possible. Make sure to focus on areas like your neck, shoulders, forearms, back, glutes, and hamstrings. Book a session with one of our certified stretch practitioners to get those hard-to-reach spots.

Now that you know why over sitting is bad for your body, it’s time to do something about it. Try our tips to get moving today and you’ll be well on your way to good health.