Why Movement is Your Key to Good Health

Micky Mikkelsen

September 04, 2016

We sit everywhere. It starts when eating breakfast, then travelling to work and for many of us sitting most of the day at work. After a long day we get home and guess what, we sit down on the sofa for the evening. In fact as you’re reading this now you’re likely sitting. We spend so much time sitting that it eventually makes us unfit and unhealthy to the point where we’re overweight, bloated, our blood pressure skyrockets and our overall health starts deteriorating.

If you sit too long, everything inside you begins to stagnate. The essence of life however is captured in movement. Every part of your body is dependent upon this fact. Did you know that how you move your body has a direct impact on how your major organs perform? We all know your blood is pumped by your heart, however not all people are aware that your muscles also play a major supporting role. They tense and contract which forces blood back to the heart via veins, making the job a whole lot easier for your heart.

The same hold true for your lymphatic system. You can think of your lymphatic system as a sewage system for your whole body and your muscles work as pumps that push waste produce back to the treatment plant. What do you think happens if we stop moving? We stop the pumps.

Another example of an unpleasant blockage is constipation. The intestinal flow is hindered causing a traffic jam. Imagine peak traffic on a single lane freeway, nobody would be getting anywhere quickly. A simple trick to ‘open up more lanes’ is to move. Go for a short walk or do ten deep squats. Several deep squats create a pumping mechanism for your intestines, where the pressure on your stomach compresses the intestines while at the same time spaces within them are opened. That is why it is called bowel movement!

Several recent studies have reinforced the belief that frequent, short bouts of movement are necessary to maintain a well-functioning and well-oiled body. Apart from the obvious benefits such as staying leaner and lowering the chance of metabolic syndromes (such as diabetes), you can also expect better work performance and less sickness.

It’s a modern day myth is that you can counterbalance a sedentary lifestyle by going for a run or to the gym a few times a week, even if you sit up to 14 hours a day. That is like believing you can negate the impact of smoking by going for a jog. Instead it is better to focus on integrating regular movement into your life.

To incorporate more movement in the office and at home try out a few of these tips;

  1. Not enough chairs in a meeting? Give up your seat and stand.
  2. Stand up whenever you’re on the phone.
  3. If possible try going for a walk whenever you have to make a call.
  4. Always plonked down in front of the TV at night? Go for a walk with your partner instead.
  5. Toilet break? Go for the one furthest away.
  6. Need to talk to a colleague? Walk to their office instead of using the phone.
  7. Try using the stairs instead of the elevator.
  8. Ask for a standing desk at work or invest in one if you work from home.

When it comes to standing desks, some people have raised concerns about reduced productivity. However if you make a gradual transition there will be few issues as your body has time to adapt to the new load. A recent study showed there was no loss in productivity when switching from sitting all day to standing for 60-100 minutes. In fact some studies have demonstrated the opposite.

Another positive to remember is if you decide to go all out and stand for 7 hours a day, you will burn an extra 1100 kilojoules. Therefore you can have those two glasses of red wine with a clear conscience!

However, if you are experiencing aches or stiffness when you’re using your standing desk, postural imbalances might be the cause. Try assessing your own posture (http://www.martinandcoupechiropractic.com.au/the-best-way-to-assess-your-own-posture/)

For more insight and useful tips you can use right now on how to sit properly (http://www.martinandcoupechiropractic.com.au/sitting-bad-back-improve/)

Get moving!

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