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Sitting Can be is as Bad for Your Health as Smoking

Unbelievable, isn’t it?

Unfortunately this statement is no exaggeration!

New study at the Sax Institute, comprising 230,000 people in the age group of 45 from Australia, suggest that too much of sitting or sleeping can cut down few precious years from your life. People who spend most of their day sitting or sleeping may be as likely to die early as those who smoke or drink too much.

Sedentary lifestyle is the fourth leading risk factor of death. In fact sitting for nine hours a day has been called a lethal activity.

Sitting is harmless. Just like eating which is necessary and a harmless activity. But when you indulge in too much of eating, it can get incredibly harmful. The same thing goes with too much of sitting.

Chairs and couches support your body weight. A chair holds you up, your ankles, knees and hips. As a result your muscles weaken, your shoulders round forward and your back hunches, leading to slower circulation and depressed metabolism.

If you are trapped in a desk job, make a point to get up and wander around every 20 minutes. Here are few stretches that will help you counter the muscles weakening, joint-stiffening, buttocks, hamstrings, calf muscles and prevent shoulder hunching effect.

Bending Backward

Bending backward is helpful in improving posture. It also supports the muscles that stabilize your spine.

How to do: Stand straight with your arms over your head. Slowly lean back until you begin to feel a stretch. Be careful to start slowly and as your back gets stronger, you will be able to go deeper into the backbend.

Lunge with Rotation

Lunge with Rotation helps you strengthen your legs and shoulders while stretching your hips.

How to do: Stand straight. Take a big step forward with your foot into lunge position. Take care that your right knee does not extend past your toes. Now place your hands on either side of your right foot. Lift your right hand towards ceiling. Try to go a little deeper into the rotation as you exhale. Switch sides and repeat.

Chair Stretch

The little muscles in your rear end, atrophies and the piriformis tighten with prolonged sitting. This simple stretch will keep your piriformis flexible and active.

How to do:

Sit straight on a chair with your right ankle crossed over your left thigh. Using your right hand, slightly apply pressure to the inside of your right knee. Slightly lean forward until you start to feel gently stretch in your right piriformis. Hold the stretch as you inhale. Now while you exhale, apply a little more pressure and try to lean half an inch farther forward into the stretch. Switch sides and repeat.

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