The Benefits of Taking a Break from Sitting

Sycamore Integrated Health

Our bodies are made to move.

Of course, we all need rest, too, which includes more than sleeping. For students and people who work in an office environment, prolonged sitting is the norm – sometimes a requirement! But it can cause problems, too.

The Dangers of Sitting for Long Periods

Some have described sitting as the new smoking. This is because the sedentary nature of sitting or lying down too long can lead to chronic physical and mental health problems.

Your heart, digestive system, and musculoskeletal system do not function adequately in lengthy sitting or lying positions. This leads to back and joint pain, decreased musculature, strength, flexibility, and overall body rigidity. Extended sitting has also been known to contribute to excessive weight gain, decreased hip and back support, joint weakness, and even diabetes and mental health disorders.

While we all need to sit and rest during parts of the day, it’s important not to do so longer than we need to, as Dr. Sean Miller, a physical therapist at Sycamore Integrated Health points out.

“Fatigue and poor posture can occur every 15 minutes, so it’s important to take breaks to move and stretch,” Dr. Miller said. “If you’ve been sitting for over an hour, it’s time to get up and move.”

The Benefits of Standing and Moving

The simple fact is our bodies function better when we are upright and moving, and it’s never too late to incorporate more movement or exercise into your daily routine.

For as many health dangers that can arise from prolonged sitting, an equal number of benefits exist from getting up and moving. Standing and increasing movement will help improve posture, burn calories, reduce strain on your back and joints, and keep your body in a more fluid, circulative state.

“Taking breaks from sitting improves circulation by reducing the swelling in your legs,” says Dr. Miller. “It also improves your postural positioning, which means less stress on your joints and a reduction in muscle strains.”

There are many simple ways to incorporate more movement into your life right now:

  • Walking more throughout the day
  • Taking stairs instead of elevators
  • Biking instead of short car rides
  • Waking up earlier to stretch, walk, and or jog
  • Stand up and walk around during commercials
  • Do daily chores in small batches
  • Get an ergonomic desk so you can do your work while standing

Any of these simple things are a great way to bring more movements into your day so that you’re seated less, thus reducing the risk of health problems.

For more information or questions on how integrated health practices can help keep your body moving more freely and your posture correct, visit www.sycamoreintegratedhealth.com or call 815-895-3354.

Sycamore Integrated Health

920 W Prairie Dr STE J

Sycamore, IL 60178

Sycamore Integrated Health logo