4 Ways Excessive Sitting Harms Your Body and Mind

4 Ways Excessive Sitting Harms Your Body and Mind

From my experience as a personal fitness trainer, I find that prolonged sitting is the cause of many challenges my clients face. People sit at their desk at work, sit in their car on the way home, then sit more on the couch watching TV. A day full of sitting takes its toll on physical and mental health.

Together, we can reverse this harmful situation. By simply standing up, you begin to return your body to it’s fully functional abilities. You’ll also find happiness through less stress and more energy!

Recognize These Harmful Affects of Inactivity

1. Weight Gain

The Cause
Inactivity from prolonged sitting means that you burn so few calories that weight gain is inevitable.

The Solution
If you need to lose fat, your first step is spending less time on your butt and more on your feet. Begin by finding ways to move more during your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk your mail to the post office, or take your bike instead of driving. Next, be sure to include daily cardiovascular exercise to get your heartrate up and burn fat. I recommend all my clients do a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio daily.

2. Boredom, Stress, and Loss of Energy

The Cause
Sitting restricts the freedom of our minds, preventing social interaction, play time, and stress relief.

The Solution
By finding ways to move your body, you can free your mind from the chains of the chair. Get outside to enjoy sunlight. Find movement in everyday activities. Plan social activities which involve physical activity and fun, like participating in a sports league or going dancing with friends. Get the endorphins flowing! I guarantee you’ll find improved alertness, a more optimistic outlook, and less stress!

3. Muscle Weakness and Tightness

The Cause
When seated, some muscles are perpetually shortened while others are lengthened. This situation leads to chronic muscle tightness and weakness.

The Solution
Tailor your exercise plan to address specific muscle imbalances you have. For instance, when you sit, your hamstrings in the back of your legs are in a fixed, shortened position. This situation leads to chronically tight and weak hamstring muscles. The remedy is stretch these muscles and use resistance training to building strength.

4. Postural Problems

The Cause
When sitting, most people slouch with the head and shoulders rounded forward. The lumbar (lower) spine is also pulled out of its natural arch into a straightened position, putting stress on the lower back’s muscles, ligaments, and discs.

The Solution
When I work with clients, I strive to reverse postural problems from poor sitting habits. To get you upright again, I prescribe exercises to strengthen your upper back and shoulders, stretch your pecs and shoulders, and strengthen your core muscles.
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