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  • Shared Experiences

    Time spent sitting as an independent risk factor for chronic disease?

    Hi all Healthsharers,



    I practice as a physiotherapist and accredited exercise physiologist. Last night I viewed a professional webinar regarding the health effects of prolonged sitting…. very interesting outcomes and results were presented! This webinar was held by the Australian Physiotherapy Association and presented by Dr Martin Mackey.



    Our modern lives involve A LOT OF SITTING… sitting to drive to work (or ride the train/tram/bus)sitting to complete our work tasks (who does not use a computer these days? - also phone calls)sitting in our leisure time (technology - computer, iPad/tablet, TV, movies, gaming)sitting during recreation/ entertainment (attend sporting game, movie etc, concert/ stage show)etc, etc, etc

    Any ideas as to what some of the negative health effects that sitting can have on health and health measures?



    As Bob Marley said… get up, stand up, stand up for your rights (to a healthy life)!



    Regards, Neil
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Matt Murfitt

    Personal Trainer

    Hi my name is Matt and I love health and fitness. I am a Personal Trainer from Sydney, Australia with many years experience in Australasia ... View Profile

    Hi Neil - completely agree.

    We spend so much of our lives in a sedentary state. How about 45 mins to an hour of exercise 5 times per week - -eg Monday to Friday (normally our most sedentary days) - should that counteract the lack of exercise completely?

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  • Neil Synnott

    Exercise Physiologist, Physiotherapist

    I am qualified as a PHYSIOTHERAPIST and ACCREDITED EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST.I primarily use the McKENZIE METHOD for assessment and management of musculoskeletal pain disorders. The McKENZIE ... View Profile

    Hi Matt,



    Being physical active - 45 mins on most days - is definitely helpful, but the amount we sit, which for many people is as much as 10-12 hours per day is still a significant issue!!! So strategies in the workplace to minimise sitting is very, verity important as sitting is an independent risk factor for chronic disease!



    Do you have any ideas as to what health measures are negatively affected by sitting?



    Regards, Neil

  • Neil Synnott

    Exercise Physiologist, Physiotherapist

    1

    Thanks

    I am qualified as a PHYSIOTHERAPIST and ACCREDITED EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST.I primarily use the McKENZIE METHOD for assessment and management of musculoskeletal pain disorders. The McKENZIE ... View Profile

    Hi all healthsharers,



    Further information regarding the health effects of how much we sit… The following information comes from scientific studies completed over the last few years. This information was presented during an Australian Physiotherapy Association webinar.



    Research demonstrated that:Adult workers spend, on average, 67.3% of waking hours sitting - this equates to 10 hrs and 45 minutes a day (assuming we are awake for 16 hours per day)Adults workers spend 4.3% of waking hours engaged in moderate-vigorous physical activity (essentially daily movements, not structured exercise) - this equates to 42 minutes per day (assuming we are awake for 16 hours per day)If you spend less than 2.5 hours per week (around 20 minutes per day) exercising and sit more than 14 hours per day, risk for metabolic syndrome (precursor to diabetes) is increased four-fold for women - why is this so, why are men better protected?Health measures negatively affected by prolonged sitting - waist circumference, body mass index, triglycerides, plasma glucose levels - all higher with increased time spent sitting! Each of these health measures have an association with diabetes!

    The negative health effects of sitting are independent of physical activity. So just because you are physically active on a regular basis - 4-5 times per week for 60 minutes each session - you are not exempt from these negative health effects!



    As Bob Marley said.. get up, stand up… for your rights (to a healthy life!)



    More to come on strategies to break up the day with the amount of sitting we currently do.



    Regards, Neil

  • Sabine Drilling

    Healthshare Member

    You might find this info useful

    http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/HW-PA-SittingLess-Adults.pdf

    http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/HW-PA-SittingLess-Child.pdf

  • Neil Synnott

    Exercise Physiologist, Physiotherapist

    I am qualified as a PHYSIOTHERAPIST and ACCREDITED EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST.I primarily use the McKENZIE METHOD for assessment and management of musculoskeletal pain disorders. The McKENZIE ... View Profile

    Hi Sabine,



    Thank you very much for these links. I have had a look at the references, the info I have has the same references. How did you find these links? Do you work with the heart foundation?



    Great simple strategies to reduce sedentary time. Thanks again



    Regards,



    Neil

  • Neil Synnott

    Exercise Physiologist, Physiotherapist

    I am qualified as a PHYSIOTHERAPIST and ACCREDITED EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST.I primarily use the McKENZIE METHOD for assessment and management of musculoskeletal pain disorders. The McKENZIE ... View Profile

    Hi all healthsharers,



    Continuing the theme of time spent sitting as an independent risk factor for chronic disease.



    Has anyone been spending more time out of their chair since this thread has been posted? I know I have!



    Even though my work role and tasks - physiotherapist and accredited exercise physiologist - means that I am up and out of my chair and moving around a lot, I also spend at least half my day sitting during some parts of my consultations and completing paperwork. When I conscious have thought about it… I sit more than I realised!



    Over the past week or so, I have made a few simple changes to my personal work practices:colleague discussions at work - standing for the entire chat (30 seconds to 10 minutes)patient consultations - standing for the first few minutes of consultations while we get a status update (for me this is setting an example to my patients that we sit enough as it is and bring it up briefly as a discussion point!)paperwork periods (from 5-60 minute periods) - once I complete a letter or document, I click print, stand up and walk to the printer, sign the document and file for sending (for me takes 15 seconds)lunch time - get outside for a 5 minute breath of fresh air with a walk

    I understand that these strategies are not realistic for everyone in different work roles and industries, but small changes can go a long way. Strangely enough, I have actually found my efficiency has been better!



    As Bob Marley said, get up, stand up, stand up for your right (to a healthy life)!



    Regards, Neil

  • Neil Synnott

    Exercise Physiologist, Physiotherapist

    I am qualified as a PHYSIOTHERAPIST and ACCREDITED EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST.I primarily use the McKENZIE METHOD for assessment and management of musculoskeletal pain disorders. The McKENZIE ... View Profile

    Hi all healthsharers,



    The festive season is upon us again… how quickly does the year go!?



    With the festive season comes plenty of festive events. Many of us will be attending multiple events over the next few weeks… work and friend parties to celebrate the end of a productive year… family events to catch up on developments/ achievements/ new additions/ etc.



    With the festive season, we are likely to be sitting a lot - at dinner, during travel (car, plane, etc) - and standing a lot. This is the time of year where people can slowly develop low back or neck pain… we are too busy being festive and social! So stretching is important to keep our bodies happy and to get through the festive season in a festive mood.



    A simple stretch for the low back is to…. place your hands in the small of your back ( or on hips), and gently lean backwards… repeat this motion 5-10 times… repeat after periods of sitting greater than 20 minutes. If pain develops during this stretch STOP!… this is an indication that you have a restriction in your back that needs assessment.



    So please stretch over the festive season!



    As Bob Marley said… get up, stand up, stand up for your rights (to a health back and neck!)



    Happy festive season to all.



    Regards,



    Neil

  • Matt Murfitt

    Personal Trainer

    Hi my name is Matt and I love health and fitness. I am a Personal Trainer from Sydney, Australia with many years experience in Australasia ... View Profile

    Thanks Neil… Do you think going for a light jog for 15 mins every lunchtime on a week day would alleviate problems associated with prolonged sitting as well?

  • Neil Synnott

    Exercise Physiologist, Physiotherapist

    I am qualified as a PHYSIOTHERAPIST and ACCREDITED EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST.I primarily use the McKENZIE METHOD for assessment and management of musculoskeletal pain disorders. The McKENZIE ... View Profile

    Hi Matt,

    Great idea! Being active at regular intervals during the day is very important in keeping our bodies healthy - ie. general metabolism, blood glucose metabolism, muscles, joints, etc.

    It does not necessarily need to be a run though… just walking at a brisk pace is enough to get the heart and lungs pumping a bit! As you know, it is amazing how exercise can make you feel better - physical, mentally, emotionally!

    A semi-regular comment I get from people referred by their GP to see me as an accredited exercise physiologist is… YOUR NOT GOING TO MAKE ME RUN ARE YOU? I have found that people have been amazed at how regular walking make a difference to their health! So that 15 minute run you suggest at lunchtime, can easily be a 15 minute walk.

    Everyone needs to exercise at their own limit… For me, the most important feature of an exercise regime is for exercise to be regular!

    The research regarding sedentary or time spent sitting is interesting. The data suggest that even people whom are physically active at recommended levels are not exempt from the negative effects of prolonged sitting. So those that exercise  frequently still need to reduce the amount they are sitting. With the advent of modern computing - ie tablet devices (iPad) -  standing to complete work and leisure tasks is much easier.

    So please stand up, stand up for your right to a healthier life!

    Regards, Neil


     

  • Debra Coates

    Healthshare Member

    Hi Neil

    I read this post from you and just wishing to ask what can someone like myself with diffuse idiopathi skeletal hyperostosis do to help with their own rehab.. I am limited to so much that i can do it takes me now 3 days to clean house otherwise i end up in agony, i can only stand to iron for 15 mins then must sit to give my spine a rest. I have had this problem most of my life and i have been told the way i walk isnt helping as my feet roll alot and in summer i cant wear sneakers all the time its too hot. I also have scoliosis and osteo arthritis any info to help myself would be appreciated most drs just send me home with pain relief

    Debra

  • Neil Synnott

    Exercise Physiologist, Physiotherapist

    I am qualified as a PHYSIOTHERAPIST and ACCREDITED EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST.I primarily use the McKENZIE METHOD for assessment and management of musculoskeletal pain disorders. The McKENZIE ... View Profile

    HI Debra,



    Thank you for seeking more information regarding management of your diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (aka DISH). I have been involved in the care of a few people who have DISH, and physiotherapy has been able to provide some help and pain relief.



    My best suggestion is to visit a credentialled McKenzie physiotherapist - check out www.mckenziemdt.org.au for your nearest credentialled McKenzie physiotherapist in South Australia. The benefit of a McKenzie assessment is that the physiotherapist identifies what areas of your spine are restricted and develops a stretching regime specific to you. Given that you have been living with DISH for  a while, you are likely to be stiff in your spine - thus a stretching regime is very important - the only way your spine is truly going to loosen up is if your perform the appropriate stretches regularly. Unfortunately I cannot provide you with stretching advice over the net, you need to be assessed in person by an appropriately qualified physiotherapist.



    Any further questions, I am happy to help! Again, great stuff in seeking more information about helping yourself!!



    Regards, Neil

  • Eric Rosario

    Exercise Physiologist

    Master of Applied Science by Research into the Effects of Strength Training on Postmenopausal women. I have been involved in strength training for 67 years ... View Profile

    When I sit at the computer I give myself a task that will take 3/4 hr or so. When I complete this task I  do a few abdominal exercise or Yogic practices for the abdominals. I have a home gym and also do a few exercises as a break.

  • Natalie Wischer

    Diabetes Educator

    Hi Eric,

    I concur with your comments wholeheartedly! Most of us sit far too much.

    As a diabetes educator I like to set an example by riding or running the 15 km into work and then using an under desk cycle whilst sitting. I also ensure that I get up from my desk every 20 minutes and move.

    If we could get everyone moving, type 2 diabetes, mental health and a multitude of other conditions would hopefully keep our businesses growing at a much slower rate. I would be happy for that!

    Natalie

  • Tina Garrett

    Occupational Therapist (OT)

    Well Now Health Solutions offers high quality occupational therapy services to the adult population in Gympie and the surrounding regions. Our occupational therapy services aim ... View Profile

    Hi Debra

    Sorry to hear that the activities of daily living that most of us take for granted ( or try to avoid) are so difficult for you.  Congratulations on your efforts and enquiries to self manage these limitations.

    As well as being an OT, I am a fitness professional and recommend you consider water based exercises for assisting you with maintaining your endurance for daily activities as well as providing you with an environment supportive of your condition.  Water is great for engaging is low - no impact exercises or movements, increases in range of motion as well as many other therapeutic benefits.  If you have access to a heated pool, this would provide a very therapeutic environment year round that in which you can also achieve many other health benefits.

    All the best with it.

    Tina

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