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Volume III
November 11, 2011

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

Are You Sitting Too Much?

By Patty Liston

We at DVO love to share all kinds of information with our readers. We feel that anything that will enhance your life will be of benefit to us all. Given that introduction, I wanted to share with you an article I read in a magazine, regarding two new health problems facing Americans: sitting too much and sitting incorrectly. As one who works from home and sits at a computer all day, I wanted to learn more.

When we add up the time that we sit in front of our computers, driving our cars, and in front of our televisions, etc., we can understand why it is estimated that most of us sit 8 to 10 hours a day. Not only is sitting a problem, but our posture while sitting, is taking a hit as well. Our shoulders are up around our ears, our spine slumps, and our legs are often tucked under us. "Posture is huge (when you are sitting) in a chair, and if you are tall or short it completely changes the angles", said Sara Daly, a physical therapist in Vermont.

According the Joan Vernikos, former NASA scientist and author of Sitting Kills, Moving Heals: How Simple Everyday Movement Will Prevent Pain, Illness, and Early Death - and Exercise Alone Won't, sitting is the equivalent to what happens when you stop using gravity. "We are born in gravity and have evolved in it", she said. "If we don't use it and we sit or lie down too frequen5ly, then we do away with the stimulation that nature provides, because we aren't using muscles while sitting all day."

I read somewhere that for every hour we sit, we need to get up for 5-10 minutes and just move our legs to keep the blood flowing. This may seem a difficult task, but try standing up and walking around while you are talking on the phone. I have started doing this and I feel more energized when I do have to sit down again.

It also helps to know how to sit at your computer in a way that is not harmful.
•   Be arms length from your computer screen
•   Your keyboard should be 2 inches above your thighs
•   Keep your feet flat on the floor, hips width apart
•   Keep an inch or two between your knees and the seat to allow for better circulation
•   Don't cross your legs or ankles - shuts off blood circulation
•   Don't lean your head forward - it should be in alignment with your back
•   Every once in awhile just ask yourself, "Where are my shoulders"? If they are up around your ears, relax them. Do some simple shoulder and neck rotations.

By making just a few changes to our sedentary life style, we will use Newton's discovery of gravity in a way that will benefit our over-all health and keep our body working for us - not against us!

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