Let’s Talk About Posture
Let’s do a fun experiment. I want you to think about the accumulated time that you spend sitting in any given day. You start your day off with eating breakfast at the table (sitting), traveling to work (sitting), working (sitting), eating lunch (sitting), going back to work after lunch (sitting), traveling back home (sitting), relaxing in your favorite chair/couch (sitting), eating dinner (sitting), and then ending your day watching a couple episodes of your favorite TV show while, you guessed it, sitting. The average American adult sits for six and half hours, the average teen sits for eight hours.
When we sit for prolonged periods of time, our body takes a huge hit; chronic sitting can result in an increased risk for obesity, an increase in our blood pressure as well as high blood sugar and put us at risk for developing excess abdominal fat around the waist. Chronic sitting can result in weakening of our leg and gluteal muscles; our hip flexors can also become overly tight and can create muscle imbalances which will force our body into poor posture. When we have poor posture, we are not able to breathe deeply. This deep diaphragmatic breathing is very important in stimulating our parasympathetic response (https://myphdweightloss.com/2019/06/18/rewiring-your-brain/).
An analysis of 13 studies of sitting time and activity levels found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying that were similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking.
I’ve probably painted a rather bleak and helpless picture in your mind but fear not, there’s hope!
- Every 20 minutes, move! Stand up and go for a walk to the break room, outside or to a coworker’s office. Get your body moving!
- Breeeeeeeathe! Inhale and exhale in a 1:2 ratio fashion.
- Reach for the sky! When you are sitting, focus on lengthening your spine from the crown of your head to your grounded toes.
These are just three easy techniques you can start incorporating RIGHT NOW to help improve your health, posture, and breathing. Set a timer on your phone for every 20 minutes and when it goes off, stand up. Focus on breathing deeply in and out of your nose, stretching to the sky and going for a 1-2 minute walk. You will feel the effects immediately!
Fact: Poor posture can lead to digestive challenges by compressing your organs, slowing down your digestive process and adversely impacting your metabolism.
Awareness Challenge this week: As it says above set a timer to go off every 2o minutes to remind you to get up and stand. Standing desks are especially helpful at work, so you can move from sitting to standing easily. Or start by every time you sit down to eat focus on chewing thoroughly and having good posture so digestion is optimal!
Tune in next time; we’ll talk about how to get the results you want in 2020!
In the meantime, if you’d like to know more about living a healthier lifestyle, reach out to us for our professional guidance and support. Give us a call!
Great posture never goes out of style.
By: Katrina C.
Blog Photo Credit: HowtoGeek.com
Cover Photo Credit: VergoUk