With the Winter Olympics soon set to hit our screens, many of us will be spending a good few hours in front of the TV. But did you know that sitting down for prolonged periods can be seriously harmful to your spine and other aspects of your health? According to our Southend chiropractor, more than half of us spend over six hours sitting down each and every day, which can have short- and long-term effects on our health and bodies. So if you’re planning on slumping in front of the TV this February, take a look at the damage it could do to your health:
1. It can cause weak legs and glutes
If you don’t use them, you lose them as they say. Sitting for long periods of time means you don’t have to depend on your powerful lower body muscles to support your weight. This can lead to weakening of the muscles. Without strong leg and glute muscles to stabilise you, your body is at risk of injury.
2. It can lead to weight gain
Regular movement causes your muscles to release important molecules which help to process the fats and sugars you eat. If you spend most of your day sitting, less of these molecules are released and you become at risk of gaining more weight.
3. It can result in tight hips and back pain
Your hips and back will almost certainly suffer from sitting for too long. When you are sitting down, your hip flexors shorten which causes them to become tight and stiff. On top of this, if you have bad posture or you don’t use an ergonomic chair, the health of your spine will suffer! Poor posture while sitting can cause compression on the discs in your spine which can lead to premature degeneration and chronic pain.
Similarly to your lower back, your shoulders and neck are also likely to suffer from prolonged periods of sitting. This is especially true if you tend to sit in a hunched or slouched position.
Relaxing in front of the TV may seem like quite a benign thing to do, but the health implications of sitting down for too long can be enormous!