One of the worst things you can do is be immobile in one position for an extended period of time.
This excludes sleeping where we our extended and outstretched during or non-waking hours. What it refers to is sitting for prolonged periods. This can have very bad health consequences. Even if you get out of that chair and do your usual exercises, the sitting effects can still take their toll.
What happens when you sit.
Muscle activity drops, calories dont get burned, and your blood flow slows down as your arteries dilate. Performing the above exercise straightens you out, re-activates all those muscles which youve been restricting for extended periods of time while strengthening those muscles allowing you to stand up straight again without being hunched over or slouched. Walking around with a hunch or a slouch to your step is usually a direct result of sitting for too long and means that performing this exercise is more important than ever for living a physically healthier and longer life.
They say 3 hours of straight sitting causes your arteries to dilate 50% less. 24 hours of sitting increases chances of diabetes. More than 6 hours of sitting a day for 2 weeks straight and LDL cholesterol levels rise and bad fat resolving enzymes drop down. Energy levels are poor as muscles become less active. Eventually serious health problems will occur.
Exercising regularly can counter all this, right? Only if you get up off your chair. In other words, if you are still sitting for prolonged periods, you muscles are still degenerating, so exercising still wont counter the negative effects. Matter of fact some research suggests that bone mass in women decreases as much as 1% a year.
Exercising your body also means exercising your brain.
Your brain also becomes affected as it needs blood to work properly and sitting slows down that blood flow, leading to mood swings and increased stress levels.
Things just get worse from year to year. In 10-20 years, when sitting for 6 hours a day, you will lose 7 years of a healthy life and will need medical care for your health problems. Death is also an outcome which could be the result of heart disease, prostate and breast cancer, as there is a 64% chance of serious heart problems and a 30% chance of the cancers.
But if you cut back your sitting to 3 hours a day you can add 2 years to your life rather than losing 7.
Bad Body Posture.
A straight spine? Usually this is not a concern for someone sitting and working. Bad posture can lead to painful neck and shoulders, as well as bad back discomfort and pain. Again, slower blood flow occurs as well as shortage of breath. Sitting properly will lead to a much better flow, eliminating stress, while your digestive system, hormones and brain begin to work properly again.
Take action now!
First thing to do is adjust your posture. Start with the locust pose. This is a yoga pose that will strengthen your back and abs.
Lie down on your stomach on a mat and put your arms at the side of your body, straight. Either lay your forehead on the mat or turn it to one side.
Exhale as you lift your whole body up. This includes your legs, arms, head and chest. Keep your legs together and do not bend at the knees. Just partially should your arms be lifted as they maintain a parallel line.
Look straight ahead or down. Definitely look down if you feel your neck hurting. Maintain this position while breathing in and out repeatedly. Finally release the position and go back to the start point.
You can switch your legs by raising one while the other remains on the ground. Switch them up after several seconds.
Press the mat with your palms to lift yourself up while spreading your chest. This is another easier version.
Place a towel between your hip bones and the mat if you feel pain in the hips as this will act as a cushion.
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