What Can You Gain by Moving More and Sitting Less? Health, Wellbeing, and Longevity!

By On May 10, 2014 · Leave a Comment

As difficult as it may be, we have all made changes large and small for our health and wellbeing as we strive to give up bad habits and develop good ones! As part of our wonderful Pilates and movement community, no doubt you have incorporated movement into your health regimen. Well, congratulations! The scientifically established benefits of movement and the hazards of sitting continue to grow! A recent article in the Washington Post outlined these benefits in detail. Let’s explore!

Did you know that your organs can be damaged by prolonged sitting?
  • heart pulseCardiovascular disease can occur up to twice as much in those with a sedentary lifestyle due to poor blood flow increasing blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • The pancreas suffers too as the body becomes less responsive to insulin—in as quickly as one day of inactivity!
  • Without clear explanation, colon, breast, and endometrial cancers have been linked to increased sitting.
  • Prolonged sitting decreases your brain’s thinking ability and mood-enhancing chemicals.
  • Poor circulation from inactivity can cause dangerous blood clots to form.
What of the musculoskeletal benefits gained from giving up prolonged sitting?
  • skeleton neckThe spine: when we sit, we carry our head too far forward putting pressure on our cervical spine, and we tighten our hip flexors putting pressure on our lumbar spine. The result? Disc damage.
  • As mentioned, sitting tightens the hip flexors, and it also weakens our glutes. This formula contributes to a poor gait pattern, instability, and increased falling as we age.
  • Weak bones: Weight-bearing activities help grow strong and healthy bones. Inactivity contributes to weak bones, perhaps explaining the recent increase in osteoporosis in our society.

Wow! Think of all you have done for yourself, your mind and body by moving! Think of all you can continue to gain by increasing your movement-to-sitting ratio!

Please add comments below to share the great changes you have made—or are making—to improve your health! And don’t forget to complete the survey sent in our last Scoop newsletter to tell us how we can help you continue to move and thrive!

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