Wellness Wednesday Tip #25: Sit Less!!

Happy #WellfieWednesday friends!

     This week’s tip is to sit less! That’s it, just sit less. It’s that easy, and it’s that hard. Over the past week I’ve been digging into Deskbound, the latest book from Dr. Kelly Starrett, discussing how excessive sitting is affecting our bodies in more ways than we might realize. Beyond the easily recognizable effects of a sedentary lifestyle such as stiffness or pain throughout the low back, neck, shoulders, or hips, excessive sitting can also affect cognitive function, lung function, and has even been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and type II diabetes. Recent research has also shown that general exercise 30-60 minutes per day is not enough to reverse these negative effects! We must take coordinated and specific action to undo the effects sitting has on our body.

     So how do we break out of this habit when our culture is designed for us to sit everywhere we go? Starrett outlines 4 guidelines for reducing sitting and adding movement into your everyday activities:

  1. Reduce optional sitting in your life - try stretching on the floor while watching TV or switching to a variable height desk at work to allow standing
  2. For every 30 minutes spent sitting, spend at least 2 minutes moving - a quick walk around the office, standing up to stretch, bodyweight squats, etc
  3. Prioritize position and mechanics whenever possible -  Sitting up with proper mechanics instead of slumping back in your office chair makes a world of difference! See the pictures below for a guide to sitting posture and different sitting options
  4. Perform 10-15 minutes of daily maintenance on your body - improving the endurance of postural muscles to reduce poor positioning throughout the day and stretching out major muscles affected by sitting like your hip flexors, glutes, chest, and upper traps.

     So give it a shot and let us know how it goes! Thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures again this week and tag Patrick (@PBernerSPT) or myself (@Eric_in_AmERICa) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

-Dr. Eric Uveges, PT, DPT

- Dr. Patrick Berner, PT, DPT


Image source:  Deskbound

Image source: Deskbound