Sitting to Death

Published 01/16 2013 05:22PM

Updated 01/16 2013 05:58PM

In our busy lives, we somehow find the time to sit still. We do it when we're typing, relaxing, even communicating.

But while our legs are in that familiar 90-degree angle, physical therapists, like Craig Hanson, say there's some serious health implications we're sitting on.

"When you slouch in a chair it stretches out the muscles in your back, as well as puts pressure on the discs in your back that could cause some problems later", says Hanson, Hendrick Medical Center Physical Therapist.

Karla Hutchinson knows back pain.
"I've had two back surgeries and they were so debilitating, I felt like I was going to have to deal with chronic pain the rest of my life", explains Hutchinson.

While regular exercise is ideal,  Hutchinson also knew her desk job wasn't doing her health any favors.

"I'd sit three to four hours at work, and would sometimes have to get up and stretch because sitting is just the worst thing, it just kind of locks up everything", Hutchinson tells us.

Which is exactly what motivated her to get up and change her lifestyle.
However, doctors say you don't have to hit the gym everyday to rise above health issues caused by sitting.

"Anyone who has a desk job, when we're making ergonomic recommendations, is that they can only sit for thirty minutes at a time, and then they need to get up and do about five minutes of activity, whether it's just going to file or do some other phone calls", explains Hanson.

Sitting too long can lead to other health risk later in life, including poor circulation and increased risks for certain diseases.

So next time you go to assume America's favorite position, keep in mind, all that sitting could be at the bottom of your health problems.

Another suggestion from doctors---swap out your chair for an exercise ball, it will help strengthen your core muscles and improve posture and blood flow. Another tip-- stand up every time you make a phone call.

These little changes can add up to big health benefits.

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