Workers who sit for six hours a day issued with important advice
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Workers who sit for six or more hours a day (myself included) might want to listen up - a fitness expert has issued some important advice.
It's no secret that being sedentary while hunched over a laptop is not exactly ideal for the human body.
I'll be the first to admit that I don't exactly feel like a picture of health after staring at a screen all day with my back in all sorts of unnatural positions.
Now Dan Go, CEO of High Performance Founder, which helps entrepreneurs with fitness, has issued a warning while offering advice on how to overcome the pitfalls associated with working at home, in the office or behind the wheel.
Taking to Twitter, he shared a shocking x-ray image of a person's skeletal position as they sit at their laptop, with the spine curving from the lower back to the neck.
"If you sit for more than 6 hours a day, read this," he wrote, before explaining that sitting for long periods of time can lead to 'poor posture, obesity and weight gain and neck, shoulder and low back pain'.
Go also warned that it can increase the risk for mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
"Sitting is the new smoking," he added, and while you might think this is an exaggeration, some studies have provided some legitimacy to these claims.
You all remember 'Emma', right? The terrifying, life-size model based on how scientists believe office workers might look in the future.
A team of experts created the prediction from a survey of more than 3,000 workers in France, Germany and the UK, which found that significant numbers of sedentary employees suffered from a range of health issues including sore eyes and backs and migraines.
Using this information, the researchers created 'Emma' - a model of a woman with a permanently hunched back, varicose veins and red, bloodshot eyes.
You might scoff at the idea, but if work practices don't change soon, humans could look the same in the future.
In separate research referenced by the Mayo Clinic, scientists analysed 13 studies of sitting time and activity levels and concluded that those who sit for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.
And the risk of dying was similar to that posed by obesity and smoking.
The good news is the analysis also found that 60 to 75 minutes of moderately intense physical activity each day countered the effects of sustained sitting.
So that doesn't mean you need to pack in your job to find one that's more active - we've got to pay the bills somehow.
Thankfully, Go was on hand to offer up some simple exercises and techniques to help boost physical activity and reverse the effects of sitting for long periods of time.
This includes what's called the 'McGill Big 3', a set of exercises consisting of the McGill Crunch, side plank holds and focused and activated Bird Dogs, which helps to 'build endurance in the low back and abs while increasing core stability'.
Other moves include glute bridge holds, bar hangs, Cat-Cow poses and couch stretches, all of which help to strengthen muscles and alleviate tension.
The fitness CEO finished by saying: "One of the most underrated ways to burn calories, improve health and relieve chronic pain is by simply walking more.
"Getting 8 to 10k steps a day can help to reverse the effects of sitting for long periods."
So there you have it - if you want to take control of your health without packing in your 9-5, try adding these techniques to your daily routine.
You don't want to end up like poor Emma, after all.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@FitFounder/Panther Media GmbH/Alamy
Topics: Health, Mental Health, Science, Viral