Sitting down is often equated with relaxing, but it may not feel that way to those who spend hours working at a desk every day. In fact, a host of musculoskeletal perils – from sore muscles and tension headaches to carpal tunnel syndrome – can strike those whose time on their tushes is long and whose attention to their body position is short.
Experts disagree about whether the human body evolved for sitting, but the fact is that many of us spend eight hours or more every day with our derrieres in desk chairs. Combine that with time spent driving, watching TV and other seated activities, and we may be logging more hours sitting than in any other position.
“Some people say we're not designed to sit, but that's nonsense,” said Alan Hedge, director of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory at Cornell University.
However, a growing body of evidence suggests that sitting can be lethal — it raises risks for obesity, diabetes and fatty liver disease.
But if you have to sit, “it's important to sit in a healthy way, because if you sit in an inappropriate way for sustained periods . . . you put unhealthy forces on your body,” Hedge told MyHealthNewsDaily. “Some of these injuries are life-changing, but anything associated with sitting is entirely preventable.”
How can you be sure you're sitting in a healthy way? Keep these principles in mind: