Sitting is Killing You in More Ways than You Might Think…
How does sitting for extended periods of time affect our health? Well, let’s just say that it can in more profound ways than many people think.
Sitting for long periods of time can affect the nervous system by shutting down input to the brain, affecting the function of your brain ever so slightly
The first thing that sitting can and does to the health of your nervous system is the loss of the four sagittal curves in your spine:
- The lower back curve increases
- The mid back hunches
- The neck reverses
- The tailbone and pelvis become misaligned
These factors have continued negative effects on the knees, hips and feet because when the body weight shifts off of the pelvis, it forces them to take on extra body weight that they were not designed to handle.
Hip and knee replacement surgeries are a result of the medical system addressing the symptoms versus addressing the cause of the knee and hip pain which can be directly linked to misalignment and poor posture.
5 Ways Sitting Affects Your Heath
Other unhealthy effects of the four changes that happen to your sagittal curves include:
#1 – Loss of energy
Whole body energy is drained because it takes 60% more energy to maintain an unhealthy posture.
#2 – Spinal cord deterioration
The forward head posture creates a greater likelihood that the spinal cord will atrophy (or deteriorate). Overtime, this deterioration can affect every system below the neck via nerve root traction.
- See more on how Chiropractic Can Help Fix Extremity Joint & Spinal Subluxations
#3 – Loss of body function
When your body receives less input from the cerebellum, it will not function as optimally.
Keeping a forward head posture when sitting lowers the healthy input into the brain, creating a “dulled” output which is not good for your body.
#4 – Compressed nerves
Lower neck nerve roots can become compressed with tingling, numbness and / or pain radiating into the shoulders, elbows, hands, wrists and fingers.
- Learn how our Cox Technic Table Decompresses Your Spine
#5 – Degeneration in the joints
The hips, knees and feet can begin to experience degenerative osteoarthritis. This leads to knee and hip replacement surgeries as mentioned above and can affect the functioning of the body’s muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues.
Example #1 – Playing video games
In another less intense example which make a lot of sense for those who have kids that enjoy their video games. When a child or teenager sits on his / her butt playing video games, he / she becomes irritable and disoriented.
Have you experienced this from your kids? Have you ever felt this way yourself after a long day of staring at a computer screen or watching television?
Example #2 – Astronauts and zero-gravity
Without healthy IN-put, the brain has no healthy OUT-put. This is evidenced by astronauts who go into zero-gravity where two things happen to them:
- they become osteoporotic (lose bone density because of a lack of pull from the muscles at the insertions to the bone)
- they become psychotic
The cerebellum is the motion initiator and coordination centre of the brain for the entire body. The psychosis astronauts experience is related to the lack of gravity receptors input to provide the cerebellum feedback.
Recent research has confirmed the plight of the astronauts in that it has shown neurological relays in the brain to the cognitive (thinking, reasoning, organization) / emotional mind.
Balance can be easily tested and corrected if found faulty. The loss of balance really is the body expressing unhealthy brain output.
You need balance to have coordination and we need coordination to have healthy posture and movement. This creates healthy input to the brain.
Our bodies require balance and healthy posture to have strength, which allows for endurance which in turn allows for healthy skill development in life, work, sports and other day-to-day activities.
The interesting anatomy about the cerebellum, the part of the brain that coordinates and regulates muscular activity, is that it has a 40 to 1 input to output ratio. It also have 50% of the total number of neurons in the brain with only 10% of the volume.
These anatomical facts indicate how important balance, posture, coordination and healthy movement all are in the development and maintenance of strength, endurance and skills (body and brain function).
A Closing Remark…
At Revelation Health Centre, part of brain / concussion injury rehabilitation includes an in-depth treatment plan developed on a patient-by-patient basis that counteracts the effects of sitting stress. This is all about nervous system function. Too many people think it’s only about the muscles and that exercising will work. This is just not the truth.
Restoring the curves of the spine requires a broader approach that my brain rehabilitation treatments take into consideration. We start with chiropractic adjustments, add in specific spinal balance and posture exercises (for in the office, and at home), and incorporate various other levels of rehabilitation basedon your starting point.
I would be pleased to discuss which options would work best for you.
All the best in health,
– Dr. John Battershill
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We are looking forward to helping you accomplish your personal health goals!