Jan 2015


As the technology in our lives advances, we find ourselves sitting for longer and longer periods.

More of us now than ever before have a job that requires us to sit for extended lengths of time, most days of the week.

This has consequently resulted in our poor posture becoming a major health issue in the developed world.

We can all relate to getting a sore low back, or neck if we sit for too long. Whilst pain is one unpleasant consequence, recent research has shown that sitting for long periods, most days can increase your chances of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Premature death is also linked to these diseases. Some health experts have even stated that sitting has become a greater health concern than smoking in the Western world.

As chiropractors, we see the effects of poor posture, and too much sitting, far too often. Many people tell us that they experience low back ache, stiff neck or headaches after sitting.

What most people don’t realise, is the range of other, more serious effects prolonged sitting can have:

  • Altered endocrine function (changes in hormone balance)
  • Decreased digestion (our bowels need us to move, to work properly)
  • Decreased effectiveness of insulin (linked to diabetes and obesity)
  • Negative changes in cholesterol (lowered HDL/good cholesterol)
  • Decreased circulation (from lack of movement)
  • Obesity (burning only one calorie per minute)
  • Inefficient breathing (poor posture leads to decreased lung capacity)
  • Low energy (decreased oxygen to the brain and nervous system)

So, what can we do to counteract the detrimental effects of so much sitting? Very simply, we need to move more. The human body just isn’t designed to sit for long periods of time.

This doesn’t just refer to sitting at work, this includes the time spent sitting in the car, in front of the television or on the computer at home. At least every hour, we need to break our sitting with movement such as walking and/or stretching.

Our sitting posture is very important. The better our posture, the less stress on our bodies. Good posture is essential in all aspects of our lives, every day. Now that so many of us sit for such long periods, our sitting posture is ever more crucial for our health.

Posture is a habit – and just like any other, it can be either a beneficial or a detrimental habit. However, the good news is that we can change our habits. Remember that change takes time. Be patient. Just as exercising is about consistently doing little things to produce a big result over time, so is changing our posture.