Dump the Couch and Live Longer!

11 Jul 2012

Research published in online journal BMJ Open suggests that reducing excessive sitting can lead to a gain in life expectancy. Getting off the sofa is better for your back too!

The research, carried out by Peter Katzmarzyk and I-Min Lee and published in online journal BMJ Open, looked at sedentary behaviour and life expectancy.

Tim Hutchful, a chiropractor with the BCA is concerned about the effect all this extra sitting down could have too: “Our lifestyles are already very sedentary. Many people have desk jobs, meaning that by the time they get home, they have already spent a large number of hours sitting in the same position. Sitting down and watching TV or being on the home computer means the back has potentially been put under a lot of stress for most of the day as sitting incorrectly puts almost twice as much pressure on the back than when standing.”

The British Chiropractic Association has some great advice for helping to protect your back from sitting and slouching:

  • Don’t sit for more than 30-40 minutes, stand up to stretch, change position and walk around a little.
  • Set up your desk and chair at work to make it as optimal for you and your back as possible. Your seat should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground, your knees bent, but with a slope from your hips to your knees. You should end up with your hips higher than your knees and your eyes level with the top of the computer screen. You may need to put the screen on a stand or even on a ream of paper to bring it to the right height. Relax when sitting into your chair, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back with your shoulder blades are touching the back rest of the chair. Arms should be flat and your elbows level with the desk or table you are using. Use a seat with arm rests.
  • When relaxing in front of the TV at home, the tendency is to ‘slouch’. An ideal sitting position is to let the seat take your weight and, if possible, keep as much of your body in contact with the chair so that your whole body is supported.
  • Drink Up! – Try drinking water instead of tea or coffee; it will be healthier and keep your body hydrated.
  • Look for small opportunities to exercise during the day; use the stairs instead of the lift or escalator, get off your bus/train/tube a stop earlier and walk or take a walk during your lunchbreak.

Exe Chiropractic Clinic is located in central Exeter. Chiropractic is a safe, non-invasive treatment approach to musculoskeletal problems (lower back pain, neck pain, headaches). To book a consultation with a chiropractor call us on 01392 690200 or email us on info@exechiropractic.co.uk. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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