Sitting is the new smoking

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 17 December 2019

Am I right that you are probably sitting somewhere while reading this?

Do you also spend the majority of your day at a desk, on a screen, or in a car, regardless of whether it is for work or leisure?

If you do, you are not alone.

Many adults spend two-thirds of their waking hours sitting.

When we sit for extended periods of time we are tightening up a really important muscle called the psoas muscle.

Tightness of the psoas can result in spasms or lower back pain by compressing the lumbar discs. 

No wonder so many people complain of back pain. 

It's a little scary that research shows we are sitting so much it could actually be as big of a threat to your health as smoking.

So what can we do to balance out the amount of time we spend sitting?

Here are a few tips that I try to incorporate on a regular basis and you should too:

1. Get up & walk around your desk every 60 minutes.
2. Have a regular yoga practice. My favourite is Yin Yoga.
3. Lunge stretch (Start on your hands and knees, and lunge forward with your right leg so your right foot and left knee are contacting the ground. Keeping your back straight and pelvis tucked, lunge forward until you feel a stretch in your left hip. You can use a wall or chair for support if necessary. Hold this stretch for 15 seconds, and then repeat 3 times. Repeat on the other leg.)

Now I would love to hear from you! What is one thing you can start incorporating to get yourself moving? Leave a comment below and I’ll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!

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Happy holidays everyone!

3 Replies to “Sitting is the new smoking”


Good tips. Setting up a 2nd monitor (higher position) and a TV-dinner tray is a low cost way to quickly convert and alternate between a sit down and stand-up desk. When you get tired of standing, you can easily convert back. Also an egg timer is good to remind you to take a break. Other methods: sitting cross-legged in the chair for variety, sitting on an exercise ball is another one.

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Also some good tips Robert 🙂

Sandra L. Hazlett

Great reminder about keeping active!

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