Get Off That Couch!

Get Off That Couch! 

get off that couch

We know sitting too much is bad, and most of us intuitively feel a little guilty after a long TV binge.

But what exactly goes wrong in our bodies when we park ourselves for nearly eight hours per day, the average for a U.S. adult?

Many things, according to four experts, who detailed a chain of problems you can expect from head to toe if you don’t get off that couch!

GET OFF THAT COUCH-FOGGY BRAINTrouble at the top:

Foggy brain

Moving muscles pump fresh blood and oxygen to the brain and trigger the release of all sorts of brain and mood-enhancing chemicals.

When we are sedentary for a long time, everything slows, including brain function.

GET OFF THAT COUCH-Neck pain Strained neck

If most of your sitting occurs at a desk at work, craning your neck forward toward a keyboard or tilting your head to cradle a phone while typing can strain the cervical vertebrae and lead to permanent imbalances.

Sore shoulders and back

The neck doesn’t slouch alone. Slumping forward overextends the shoulder and back muscles as well, particularly the trapezius, which connects the neck and shoulders.

Some of the most painful examples of what can happen if you don’t get off that couch are related to your lower body.

Bad Back/Inflexible spine

Spines that don’t move become inflexible andGET OFF THAT COUCH-BACK STRAIN susceptible to damage in mundane activities, such as when you reach for a coffee cup or bend to tie a shoe.

When we move around, some disks between vertebrae expand and contract like sponges, soaking up fresh blood and nutrients.

When we sit for a long time, disks are squashed unevenly and lose sponginess. Collagen hardens around supporting tendons and ligaments.

Disc Damage

GET OFF THAT COUCH-herniated discPeople who sit more are at greater risk for herniated lumbar disks.

A muscle called the psoas travels through the abdominal cavity and, when it tightens, it pulls the upper lumbar spine forward.GET OFF THAT COUCH-SOFT BONES

Upper-body weight rests entirely on the ischial tuberosity (sitting bones) instead of being distributed along the arch of the spine.

Soft bones

Weight-bearing activities such as walking and running stimulate hip and lower-body bones to grow thicker, denser and stronger. Scientists partially attribute the recent surge in cases of osteoporosis to lack of activity.

Muscle Degeneration will definitely happen if you don’t get off that couch!

Mushy Abs

When you stand, move or even sit up straight, abdominal muscles keep you upright. But when you slump in a chair, they go unused.

GET OFF THAT COUCH-lordosisTight back muscles and wimpy abs form a posture-wrecking alliance that can exaggerate the spine’s natural arch, a condition called hyperlordosis or swayback.

Tight Hips

Flexible hips help keep you balanced, but chronic sitters so rarely extend the hip flexor muscles in front that they become short and tight, limiting the range of motion and stride length.

Studies have found that decreased hip mobility is a main reason elderly people tend to fall.

Limp Glutes

Sitting requires your gluteal muscles (“glutes”) to do absolutely nothing, and theyGET OFF THAT COUCH-LIMP GLUTES get used to it. So glutes hurt your stability, your ability to push on and your ability to maintain a powerful stride.

Leg Disorders

Poor circulation in the legs

Sitting for long periods of time slows blood circulation, which causes fluid to pool in the legs.

GET OFF THAT COUCH-DEEP VEIN THROMBOSISProblems range from swollen ankles and varicose veins to dangerous blood clots called deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Soft bones

Weight-bearing activities such as walking and running stimulate hip and lower-body bones to grow thicker, denser and stronger.

Scientists partially attribute the recent surge in cases of osteoporosis to lack of activity.

The Mortality Of Sitting

  • People who watched the most TV in an 8 1/2 year study had a 61% greater risk of dying than those who watched less than one hour per day.

The experts recommend the following:

#1. Sitting on something wobbly such as an exercise ball or even aGET OFF THAT COUCH-ABD MUSCLES backless stool to force your core muscles to work.

Sit up straight and keep your feet flat on the floor in front of you so they support about a quarter of your weight.

 

 

GET OFF THAT COUCH-HIP FLEX#2. Stretching the hip flexors for three minutes per side once a day.

#3. Walking during commercials when you’re watching TV. Even a snail-like pace of 1 mph would burn twice the calories of sitting, and more vigorous exercise would be even better.

#4. Alternating between sitting and standing at your workstation. If you can’t do that, stand up every half hour or so and walk.

#5. Trying yoga poses — the cow pose and the cat pose, to improve extension and flexion in your back.

GET OFF THAT COUCH-Yoga Cow Pose

 

GET OFF THAT COUCH-YOGA CAT POSE

THE RIGHT WAY TO SIT

GET OFF THAT COUCH-sitting-postureIf you have to sit often, try to do it correctly. As Mom always said,“Sit up straight.”

  • Not leaning forward
  • Elbows bent at 90 degrees
  • Feet flat on the floor
  • Shoulders relaxed
  • Arms close to the sides

 

GOT ALL THAT? Don’t worry, Just Do It! 

FIT FOR LIFE BANNER

 

Learn More:

Your Aging Muscles Have 6 Things To Talk To You About

Yoga Benefits That Money Can’t Buy

Making Fitness A Part Of Your Life

 

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