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Why Sitting Creates Such Damage

As a Norwich chiropractor I have had a large number of clients ask me recently if I had heard that today’s children run a mile slower than their parents. Amongst other things this is due an increase in the amount of sitting that we do with a reduction in our level and type of exercise.

A recent study showed that on average children run a mile 90 seconds slower than their parents did at their age. The study found that there is a 5% decline in performance every decade. It took into account 25 million children in 28 countries. One of my clients asked, ‘how did they get 25 million children to run a mile?’ That client was almost certainly a teacher.

Importantly as we develop as children, and even as adults, our bodies continually change to adapt to our environment. We are designed to change and adapt to provide the best physiology (body function) to deal with the challenges that we face.

As children our bodies do an amazing amount of adaptation and, in the presence of the best stimulus, we develop and adapt with great vitality. My grandfather was a dairy farmer and when his children were not at school they helped with chores on the farm. These were active, strength based tasks.

A child growing up lifting, carrying and walking over rough ground will develop in a very different way to children who spend a great amount of time sitting and walking on flat, hard surfaces.

Sitting is the most damaging activity we can do

Sitting is a very damaging activity

For adults the single most damaging activity that we can do is sitting. Quite simply, we are made to move.

When we walk we breathe more effectively. Have a look at any choir or vocalist. They stand tall, fill their lungs with air and use their postural muscles as well as respiratory muscles to force air in and out of their lungs.

We are bags of fluid. To ensure that fluid is circulated well around the body we need movement to pump fluid from our legs back up into our torso. Walking and moving also aids digestion and bowel movements.

Muscles are designed to be worked and stretched. Are you a person that likes a foot rub? The muscles of the feet, and most other muscles in the body, love to be moved and stimulated. Muscles don’t just sit there in a ‘floppy state’, they contract when not under load. If they are not used, this contracted length resets to be the normal resting length of muscles. This reduces flexibility and gives a sensation of tightness and stiffness.

Nervous systems thrive on stimulation. Movement creates a ‘nerve flooding’ of the central nervous system and it ‘lights up’ parts of the brain that regulate sleep, digestion, creativity and social function and it balances our physiology. Chemicals such as serotonin and growth hormone are released which give us a sense of wellbeing and simulate tissue repair and new cell growth.

We are well and truly made to move and be active. In fact joints only repair when they are in motion.

Considering these things, look at the modern life of children. With the pressure to perform at school, the entertainment of game consoles, TV and the internet, it is no wonder that they sit much more than their parents. Missing out on the physical aspects of development has a much greater impact that just the heart. All aspects of health are greatly damaged by a modern sitting based lifestyle.

Chiropractic care is centred around restoring good function to the body, stimulation and control for the nerves and seeing the body heal.

Call Inspired Chiropractic Norwich on 01603 764777 to arrange a visit or discuss how we can help you.

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