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June 28, 2012
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Are you sitting on it right now?

Stand up! Research is really clear that “sitting is the new smoking”.   In one study, adults who spent more than four hours a day sitting in front of a screen had an 80%  increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared with adults who spent less than two hours a day in front of screen. This risk was independent of other risk factors such as smoking or diet. Hmm… what if you sat for 6 hours? Or five at work plus 2 at home that night? 100% more? Scary!

This is real, folks! OK, so you don’t watch TV (or sit with an iPad) for 4 hours a day, right? Of course not. BUT – did you sit at work (or at a computer) for at least 4 hours today? Could you have done half of this work while standing?  I know of an employer that replaced all the desks at his facility so employees could sit or stand.  At Blue Heron Chiropractic on NE Broadway in Portland, I am constantly encouraging my staff to stand up, move around, be as active as possible.

You will notice me moving around the clinic carrying my iPad and making notes as I scurry about. Maybe I have even shown you one of your X-rays or a diagram about your issue one of the iPads.  If not, ask me. But you see, I am walking the talk!

This warning is not only pointing to cardiovascular risk. There are bio-mechanical challenges to sitting, and we were not built simply to sit. There is more weight on the base of your spine, for example, encouraging degeneration and dysfunction, than when you are standing.  A low back sprain or sciatica does not recover functionally while seated.  Arthritis does not like it when you sit. This is also not limited to the low back; there are impacts on the upper back and neck, which challenges headaches, including migraines, neck pains, including whiplash and pinched nerve injuries.

When a chiropractor asks you about your job, it’s not just us being nosy. We are trying to figure out what we are up against. Talk to me about it at your next appointment.  Do something about it – Stand up for Health!  And remember, hablamos Espanol!Want any more? …  here’s something about the risk of diabetes, heart disease and a number of other health problems.

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