Signs You May Be Suffering from the Sitting Disease
According to the CDC, 75% of Americans suffer from high blood pressure and only half of these individuals have their blood pressure in check. Approximately 9.4% of Americans and 5,300 children have type II diabetes. These numbers are unimaginable! These statistics are a few symptoms of one overlooked and under emphasized condition that affects all Americans, whether from necessity, occupational, or otherwise…called the Sitting Disease.
What is the Sitting Disease
The sitting disease in Friendswood is a term that was recently adopted by the scientific community that describes a condition of the body’s metabolism that can have a huge impact on health. Such symptoms of the sitting disease may include:
- Digestion issues, constipation, heartburn
- Muscle aches and pains
- Poor Posture
- Tingling and/or numbness in the extremities
- Increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and blood clots
If we analyze how many hours a day the average American sits from all sources such as driving, seated at work, and home, it comes to approximately 7.7 hours of the day spend sitting. That is most of the day!
A Body in Motion Stays in Motion
The body is in a constant state of motion. Even if our physical bodies do not seem to be moving, it is! In fact, the body craves movement. Movement is essential for things like joint function.
In every fully movable joint there are layers of tissue covering each end. One particular layer is called the Synovial Membrane. Because we have no nerves and blood vessels within the joint capsule, the body must have a mechanism to keep the joint healthy and nourished. In this case, a substance called synovial fluid is made within the joint by the synovial membrane on each end of the joint. When the joint is moving it creates friction. This friction triggers fluid production.
Synovial fluid is necessary not only for reduction of heat from friction but also to nourish the joint and keep it moving to its fullest range of motion. In the absence of movement, synovial fluid is decreased and the joint becomes stiff. Over time, if the joint is not used to its fullest capacity, range of motion becomes decreased until it is lost.
Another example of how the body needs movement comes from the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is responsible for transportation of fluid and important cells that fight infection and heal wounds. Unlike the circulatory system made up of blood and blood vessels, the lymphatic system does not have a pump, such as the heart. Therefore, the lymphatic system relies on muscular contraction to keep fluid moving properly.
When movement is decreased or stops, lymphatic fluid cannot be efficiently moved out of the area. The legs are particularly vulnerable to this predicament due to gravity. Over time, this fluid collects and begins to stress the valves in the lymphatic vessels. This condition is called edema or much more serious, lymphedema and it can get even worse!
Physical activity…who wants to do that?
It is a simple fact that the body will follow the path of least resistance. However, the condition of the body or the physical fitness of the body is going to determine how much physical activity the body will want to perform.
What we put into our mouths and put out of our bodies is exactly what our bodies expect because it’s what the body is used to and it takes time for the body to make change. A more active body will want to remain active, whereas a less active body will have a more difficult time getting the motivation to do more.
The most fantastic thing is, albeit difficult to initiate change, it is not impossible. Once you reach a level of increased activity, the body will want to do it!
Key to Success
It’s never too late to make positive changes. A part of initiating change is committing to change. The mind and the body have to come together with commitment in order to make change happen.
Some occupations require prolonged sitting. There are activities you can do in only 3-5 minutes such as going for a walk, standing, stretching, or taking the stairs. 1 hour at the gym simply cannot undo over 7 hours of sitting. Movement needs to begin throughout the day.
Find time to exercise. One of the largest reasons for lack of exercise is “I don’t have time.” There are plenty of opportunities at home. Watching a movie, for example, is an excellent time to break out a few moves and whether it’s 30 minutes or 120 minutes, any opportunity is going begin signaling changes in the body and get you on the road to a healthier you.
The Medical community is now saying that having a sedentary lifestyle is worse than smoking cigarettes. Don’t let yourself become susceptible to disease, illness, pain and early death.
If you are seeking change but you feel stuck, have difficulty initiating change, or don’t know where to start, Dr. Haywood at Forever Well Chiropractic in Friendswood, TX can not only help bring the body’s structure into a better state of wellness, but is also experienced in nutrition and fitness. He can help give you the tools you need to initiate change.
Come in today for a consultation to see how Dr. Haywood and Forever Well can help you on the road to greater longevity and quality of life.