The Quarantine Crush – Is Your Chair a Death Trap?
It may shock you, but your chair is out to kill you! Due to COVID-19 millions of Filipinos have been quarantined for months. In most cases, staying at home leads to sitting for long periods of time. In our office we recently treated two seniors that before the quarantine carried heavy loads up and down stairs every day. After 6 weeks of quarantine they were not able to even stand up without someone helping them out of their chair or bed. To say it is vital that you understand how to minimize the damage from excessive sitting is a huge understatement. (by Dr. Roger Heschong, DC of Mabuhay Chiropractic Clinics)
According to Dr. James Levine, MD, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative (and inventor of the treadmill desk), “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”
Scientific research has found prolonged sitting will lead to Lowered immune function, obesity, back pain, neck pain, sciatica, various types of cancer, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, type two diabetes, varicose veins, blood clots in your legs, abnormal cholesterol levels, osteoporosis, a reduction in balance that can lead to falls and hip fractures, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, anxiety, depression and a shortened lifespan! Whew!!!!
People believe that regular daily exercise eliminates these risks, but research shows this “once a day” work out does not protect you from many of these complications.
Professor Marc Hamilton, Ph.D., from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center says “We see it in people who are regular exercisers and those who aren’t. Sitting is an independent risk factor.”
So, what can you do?!? It is as simple as standing up. Dr. Joan Vernikos, former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division found in her research that the most effective strategy was to stand up every 30 minutes. That means set a timer on your watch or phone, and when you are reminded, scoot forward on your chair and Stand Up!
Once you are up, hold on to your desk and bounce on your toes for 5 slow deep breaths. This helps pump fluid that can collect during inactivity up from your legs and feet, improves blood vessel health, helps your immune system circulate antibodies and can help lower your blood sugar.
Let me leave you with a final but most important fact. Sitting stops nutrients from getting to your spinal discs accelerating disc degeneration. This leads to irritation of vital nerves that keep you strong and healthy. According to a 2019 article in the Journal Medicina, spinal adjustments seem to trigger the activation of the neuroimmunoendocrine system. In other words, Regular checkups and adjustments help to keep your nerves healthy and boost your immune system.
A spinal checkup once a month is one of the best investments in your health you can make.