How to combat “Sitting Disease”

Have you ever heard of “sitting disease”?  We hadn’t until we were talking to the local quilting group who educated us immediately on modern habits and work conditions that are playing havoc on joint and muscle health.  Most of us spend the majority of our day sitting whether it is in front of the television or computer, at our desks in the office, or in a car during long commutes. All of this sitting has led to what is collectively and casually known as “Sitting Disease”.  The art of making a quilt requires a lot of sitting, so the women we spoke to have combatted the possible effects of the sitting disease by taking long walks before the group commences and finishing off with stretches and movement afterwards.  They are proactively working together on both the fabric of the quilt and the fabric of good healthy habits.

The impact of sitting for too long in one place is highly wearing on joints. The cervical spine is particularly vulnerable to the effects of sitting at a desk. Craning our necks to text on a device or stare at an IPAD screen can lead to a severe (and sometimes permanent) imbalance. The thoracic spine is also at risk as the body tends to curve inwards while sitting.  This can lead to impingement on the nerves and blood supply to the arms.  Sitting in one place for too long can lead to immobility when collagen hardens around ligaments and tendons.  There is also an increased risk of herniated lumbar disks, a condition where the spine is pulled forward by a misplaced abdominal muscle and even the hip flexor muscles can become shortened, making mobility in the hips another issue for prolonged sitting.  Sitting too often also limits flexibility through impacting muscles, even abdominal muscles can become weakened from too much sitting, and muscles in the legs (mainly the glutes) can also decline with inactivity.

So how do you combat the possible side effects of the sitting disease if your professional activities keep you in a seat or your favourite leisure activity happens to be reading or watching tv.  The answer is both obvious and easy…keep moving.  Get up from your chair regularly and take a quick walk.  Rotate your head, shoulders and arms between tasks, keeping blood circulating and joints moving.  Motion is the lotion! 

CanEVA PEOPLE designed to help with mobility and joint health.

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