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Why is musical chairs the healthiest game?

By 11th July 2019Blog

Prolonged sitting is one of the unhealthiest activities we do.  Many of the health issues of our modern life can be linked to our sedentary lifestyle and there appears to be no let up in the damage it is causing.

One of the most disturbing statistics I read last year was the one that said that teenage girls’ life expectancy had been cut from 86 to 82 because of childhood obesity which is an unfortunate side effect of too much sitting. Diabetes, deep vein thrombosis and low back pain are all closely linked to sedentary habits.
Let’s now analyse the how prolonged sitting damages us.
  1. A lack of activity will impede circulation, reduce breathing and diminish heart activity.
  2. It causes a congestion in the abdominal and pelvic organs.
  3. A seizing up of the lumbar and thoracic vertebrae  by tightening the spinal muscles and ligaments.
  4. Weaken leg power.

So what can we do to counter its bad effects?

It’s not easy if you have a desk job but you can seek out some under desk exercises. I always suggest to my patients that they try to stand up whilst answering the phone or discipline themselves to just stand and stretch every hour. The unfortunate thing is that doing some exercise in the evening does not appear to counter the prolonged effects of 8 hours of sitting!
Travelling is another time when we do a lot of sitting and I find this a frequent contributory factor in patients with low back pain. I always suggest breaking your journey or walking up and down the plane or train.
Finally and probably the most worrying is our children and their obsession with the likes of Facebook and the Play Station! I can only suggest that you limit their viewing to hourly sessions and try and get them out the house, but good luck!