Saturday, June 23, 2018
Health

Don’t just sit around: Get up and move

Our bodies are designed for movement, but most of us spend much more time sitting than moving. It is estimated that adults sit for an average of eight to 10 hours a day. Some people consider their one-hour daily workout to be sufficient movement, but fitness researchers say that even if you are physically fit, sitting for lengthy, uninterrupted periods of time can impact your health negatively. We often forget that movement means much more than burning calories. Along with reducing the risk of falls and improving cognitive function as we age, movement helps prevent Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, the loss of bone density, depression, anxiety and even the loss of sleep. And you can get the movement that will help you avoid the negative effects of sitting without even leaving the house. You just need to leave the couch.

Prolonged sitting takes a toll

Abdominals and back: Sitting places more pressure on your spine than standing. Lengthy sits in a slouchy position can weaken ab muscles and tighten back muscles, resulting in poor posture that can cause chronic pain from the compression on the spinal discs.

Hips: When flexible, our hips enable us to take long strides and help us with balance, but when sitting for too long, the hip flexor muscles become tightened, limiting range of motion. Then deceased hip mobility sets in, which can lead to falls.

Legs: Swollen ankles and varicose veins can develop as a result of poor circulation in the legs.

Shoulders and neck: Slouching forward when sitting can cause the overextension of back and shoulder muscles, putting a strain on the neck and shoulders.

What can you do?

• Even when you’re sitting, it’s good to be a fidgeter. Simply shifting positions frequently can be beneficial.

• When you sit at the computer, try using a large exercise ball as your chair. I use one and it gives me freedom of movement. It also engages core muscles and helps with balance. If you’re not ready for this, use an upright chair without arms, which will help you sit up straight.

• Take breaks every half-hour from sitting by standing up and sitting down about eight to 10 times consecutively. If you need reminders to stand up, have a timer nearby. You will strengthen muscles that will help you transition from a seated position to a standing one.

• When you make or receive phone calls, make it a habit to stand up and pace while you are on the phone.

• Stand up and walk around during commercial breaks. You also might want to do a few stretches.

Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Sally Anderson is happy to hear from readers but can’t respond to individual inquiries. Contact her at [email protected]

     
Comments
ScART program empowers people to explore their scars and express their feelings through art

ScART program empowers people to explore their scars and express their feelings through art

ST. PETERSBURGShyly, 8-year-old Annabelle Brassfield climbed atop a stool in front of a blank easel, grabbed a brush she named Scarlet and prepared to paint her scars. After three open heart surgeries for a severe congenital heart defect, she’s left ...
Published: 06/22/18
Enjoy Israeli Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers warm or at room temperature

Enjoy Israeli Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers warm or at room temperature

By Katie WorkmanIsraeli or Mediterranean couscous are tiny balls of toasted semolina pasta that plump up when cooked into toothsome, slightly less tiny balls of pasta. They make a great base for a side or salad. You can make the couscous according to...
Published: 06/22/18
‘BE AWARE’: Pasco mom posts to Facebook after son’s caterpillar sting leads to ER trip

‘BE AWARE’: Pasco mom posts to Facebook after son’s caterpillar sting leads to ER trip

ZEPHYRHILLS — The Pergolas’ Saturday morning volunteer work started like most, at a farm cleaning the property and trimming trees. Andrea Pergola, 38, stood on the driveway of the property when she heard her 15-year-old son Logan scream. At first, sh...
Published: 06/20/18
Moffitt receives $1 million donation from Richard Gonzmart

Moffitt receives $1 million donation from Richard Gonzmart

TAMPA — Runners gathered for the Gonzmart’s Father’s Day Walk and Jog where they raise money to help aid in Moffitt Cancer Center’s fight against prostate cancer. This year the event raised $110,000, but Moffitt had another surprise in store.Andrea G...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health problem

Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health problem

GENEVA — Obsessive video gamers know how to anticipate dangers in virtual worlds. The World Health Organization says they now should be on guard for a danger in the real world: spending too much time playing. In its latest revision to a disease class...
Published: 06/19/18
Funded by Alcohol Industry, Federal Study on Drinking Is Shut Down

Funded by Alcohol Industry, Federal Study on Drinking Is Shut Down

The extensive government trial was intended to settle an age-old question about alcohol and diet: Does a daily cocktail or beer really protect against heart attacks and stroke?To find out, the National Institutes of Health gave scientists $100 millio...
Published: 06/16/18
More than a third of American adults take prescription drugs that may increase risk of depression, study says

More than a third of American adults take prescription drugs that may increase risk of depression, study says

More than a third of American adults are taking prescription drugs, including hormones for contraception, blood pressure medications and medicines for heartburn, that carry a potential risk of depression, according to a study published in the Journal...
Published: 06/12/18
It’s time to use the stingray shuffle to avoid a nasty sting

It’s time to use the stingray shuffle to avoid a nasty sting

Courtney Bilyeu was running toward the murky water alongside a few military officers when it happened.She was an accountant for the U.S. Navy at the time. And on her way to take a swim with some coworkers in a California beach, she saw blood. The wat...
Published: 06/12/18
It’s important to wear sunglasses even on cloudy days, ophthalmologists say

It’s important to wear sunglasses even on cloudy days, ophthalmologists say

The next time you head to the drugstore to buy sunscreen, don’t forget to pick up some sunglasses, too. That’s because both products work to protect your body from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays.Wearing sunglasses for protection should not be re...
Published: 06/09/18
In St. Pete, kidney patients gather for science and solidarity

In St. Pete, kidney patients gather for science and solidarity

ST. PETERSBURG — Kidney disease doesn’t discriminate.The crowd of more than 200 patients who gathered at the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort range in age from teenagers to seniors. They are of different ethnicities and come from all over the...
Published: 06/08/18