Sitting is bad for you. I’m guessing that you spend many hours a day hunched over a computer screen, only to return home and plant yourself for the majority of the evening in front of the TV. Those are activities that your body was never designed to do, and you could be opening yourself to a range of health problems. Herniated discs, knee replacements, colon cancer, arthritis… the list goes on.
The real problem is that most people don’t know that there’s an issue or simply aren’t bothered.
Movement debt is a lot like sleep debt. In the same way that a lack of sleep over several days affects your concentration and mood, thus building up a shortfall, so a lack of movement, which is needed for joint and muscle health, builds up a movement “debt”. Left unmet, tension and stiffness will ensue.
Here are four way of reversing and preventing the damage:
- Change your sitting posture – The real problem isn’t sitting, per se, but holding a static position for a long time. The trick is in optimizing your posture. Put your feet flat on the ground, straighten your back and lift your chin slightly.
- Change your position – Once you’ve got a good “baseline” posture you can try changing your position – by crossing your legs in your chair, for instance – every so often.
- Get up and move every thirty minutes – Alongside “sitting and shifting”, actually getting up to move about for a while – say every thirty minutes or so – can have tremendous benefits. Build some moments of movement into your routine. They work especially well with time-management systems like the Pomodoro Technique.
- Incorporate primal movements – Finally, try incorporating some primal movements like squatting into your breaks throughout the day. These mirror activities we would have engaged in back in our hunter-gatherer days and a very health-promoting.