Are you sitting down right now? The answer is most likely yes (especially if you’re at a computer!) According to Health Stats NSW, in 2016 more than half of Australians over 16 were considered physically inactive! As screens start to take over every part of our lives, we’re spending more time on our backsides than ever before. In fact, research from the Heart Foundation estimates that we spend up to 15 hours a day sitting - between commuting, working, eating, watching TV and reading.
And take a look for a moment at how you are sitting. Chances are you’re in what we call “slumpasana” - slouched in a desk chair or on a couch. But even though you find it comfortable right now, our sedentary lifestyles are causing us some pretty major health problems.
Understanding the health risks
A Columbia University study of 8,000 adults aged 45 years or over found that sitting for long periods increased the risk of an early death - regardless of age, gender, race, weight or exercise. On the plus side, people who don’t sit for more than 30 minutes at a time actually tend to live longer.
Why? Because sitting is a major factor contributing to some types of cancer, strokes, diabetes and heart disease. But that’s not all…
Since humans are designed for movement, your body just doesn’t function as efficiently when you’re sitting still - shortening your breath, weakening your muscles, and creating stiffness in your neck and shoulders. It can also lead to problems with your hips and joints, with the majority of back pain caused by poor posture.
Sitting has even been associated with higher anxiety and depression, possibly because it means missing out on the positive health benefits of exercise. That’s why it’s so important to MOVE!
Five simple ways to get moving
Schedule regular breaks. If you’re sitting at your desk all day, make sure you stretch or do some exercises for 1 to 5 minutes every half-hour. Here’s a simple routine you can try.
Change your habits. All it takes is a few small steps (literally!) to boost your overall fitness, like choosing the stairs over the lift or getting off the bus early to walk home.
Practice sitting mountain. By sitting UP on the chair instead of DOWN, you can improve your posture and breathing, allow blood flow and switch on your muscles! Here’s how to do it.
Switch to a different chair. If you have a chair without armrests, you’re less likely to slump down into it - and more likely to remember to sit up on your chair and not down.
Make sitting time count. If you love to watch your favourite TV shows, you don’t have to miss out - but instead of relaxing in front of the telly, use the time to practice chair yoga.
The benefits of Chair Yoga
When it comes to staying healthy, the key is to move as much as you can - whenever you can. This where LV Chair Yoga can help.
LV Chair Yoga is simple to learn - and lots of FUN! It’s easy to do at home, at your desk or even on the train, which means you can practice while working, watching TV, studying or commuting. You don’t need to get changed, and no one will even notice you doing it.
And the benefits aren’t just physical: taking deep breaths during LV Chair Yoga helps you to calm your mind, stay focused and boost your productivity all day long. What are you waiting for? GET FIT WHERE YOU SIT!