Is sitting the new smoking?

It is good to move our DNA and restore our health through natural movement. The sitting itself isn’t really the problem; it is the repetitive use of a single position that makes us literally become ill in a litany of ways.

For example, muscles will adapt to repetitive positioning by changing their cellular makeup, which in turn leads to less joint range of motion. This muscle and joint ‘stiffness’ can lead to a stiffening of the arterial walls within these muscles. The positive news is that, because we’ve all been sitting (static) the same way for decades, changing our static positioning (i.e., standing more) can improve our health. However moving intermittently throughout the day is still the best for our health.

We need to see that it’s the constant STATIC nature of our sitting position throughout the day that is causing the bulk of our problems.

The solution isn’t to simply stand more. If we do, we’d be swapping out one STATIC position for another—not solving the root of the problem and potentially creating other challenges.

What we want to do is create a DYNAMIC workstation such that we’re moving more—in TINY ways—throughout the day.

Now, is sitting the new smoking?

 Sitting and smoking are different: sitting itself isn’t the creator of ill effects the way smoking a cigarette is. Sitting–the position—is perfectly harmless when ‘consumed’ appropriately. It’s not like putting your butt into a chair makes you ill; as they say, it’s the dose that makes the poison.

So, short answer: No, it’s not.

Language can also get us into trouble when we’re seeking solutions, because we keep equating sitting with not moving, but in many cases, the physical effects of sitting are just as much created by repetitive geometry (always sitting in the same way) as they are by the metabolic changes that come with being sedentary. So sitting differently can improve your health in the same way that standing can—which is great news for the millions of people who aren’t yet quite fit enough to stand for considerable amounts of time. Yes, even you—who want to change your risk profile for disease but feel trapped by your current physical limitations—can change how you sit and improve your health on a cellular level.

So don’t just sit there, keep moving through out the day. Stand and do some emails.

Have a blessed day and stay healthy,

Dr. Eppinga

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