Are you sitting down? Here comes the bad news. If you spend hours every day sitting, you’re killing yourself.
A study from the research journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, found that people who sit for long stretches are 54 percent more likely to die of a heart attack – even if they exercise regularly when they are not sitting.
For 30 plus years, I’ve been sitting – 8 hours a day at my desk job, two more hours in traffic to and from work, a few more writing this blog, watching TV etc. All the while I’ve been shrinking my hamstrings and my hip flexors, rounding my neck and spine, hunching my shoulders over the computer and checking my iPhone for text messages.
There is no app on my phone to counteract iSit. Ok, actually, I think there’s one called iYoga, but it still requires use of a plug in – uMove. You have to physically move to uninstall iSit from your mainframe.
Techies, gamers, desk jockeys, couch potatoes, moms who play taxi driver and sales reps who live in their cars and on their phones – we all need to unplug and stand up for our health.
Stand up while you’re talking on the phone. Plant the four corners of your feet on the ground, lift up through your arches, a micro bend in the knees, and keep lifting up through the spine like there’s a string attached to the crown of your head. If you’re not sure where that is, Google royalty – see how the crown sits back a little from the middle of the skull. Now that your spine is lifted, think about your pelvis. Is it tilted forward? Or more toward your back? Find a neutral pelvis and then think about holding your rib cage in the center of your pelvic bowl so that your hips are not jutting forward, or too far back. Relax the shoulders. Breathe. Congratulations. You’re standing in Tall Mountain pose – you’re practicing yoga.
The good news is that you don’t have to get down on the floor and put your legs behind your ears to practice yoga – in fact, please don’t. Most of us who sit a lot are in no way prepared for that. I’m also not prepared to spend my retirement years in a rocker because I can’t get up – because I haven’t gotten up – because I sit. Are you?