Zoe Bennett Well Being wellbeing

Is sitting really the new smoking?


Every week there seems to be a new article about how our modern day lifestyles are affecting our health. We are constantly bombarded with advice from experts telling us that how we eat, work and socialise is shortening our lifespan and giving us an unhealthy lifestyle.

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to believe, but sometimes an article gets published that really does question the way we live and encourages change. This week a post came on my Twitter feed titled ‘sitting is the new smoking’ and it immediately struck my interest.

The article claims that we are literally ‘sitting ourselves to death’ and that our sedentary lifestyles, from the office chair to the sofa at home, are stopping us from living full healthy lives.

It makes sense, a lot of my clients who have busy day jobs in an office environment often have rounded shoulders, tight chest muscles and stiffness in the lumbar spine. This can attribute to having a lot of problems in later life, a stooped posture and difficulty moving.

We can’t really avoid sitting at a desk, the majority of us work in this environment and other than getting a standing desk (if you can convince your boss) there’s not a lot we can change. However there are some things you can do during your work day to get your body moving and to keep an active lifestyle. Below are some tips which I think will help….


Let’s get the first problem out of the way, your posture. Many people hunch over their desk and have their head too far forward. Think head directly on top of your shoulders, and ribs in line with your hips. It might be a good idea to stick a post-it note on your computer screen to remind you of this every so often. Especially when you get tired, as this is often when you start to slump.

Get up every half an hour

If you find yourselves stuck to your chair all day, loosen those hip flexors by just simply getting up and walking around the office!


If you are too busy for a walk or feel if you do that you’ll be too tempted to just walk to the biscuit corner and back again stay in your chair and rotate your torso! A good side stretch also never goes amiss so reach out to each side after you’ve done your rotations.

Spine Extension

To stop those chest muscles from tightening, stretch your chest towards the ceiling and draw your gaze upwards. This is an amazing stretch and is one of those ‘I just had a really good stretch!’ moments.

Flex Ankle Joints

To stop thrombosis, rotate the ankle joint and then flex and stretch. Do this on each side. This one’s really subtle and will stop your colleagues from wondering if you’re just doing a mini fitness class instead of taking that conference call from Singapore.

Don’t forget that regular exercise and a healthy diet are also extremely important. Try doing your preferred sport or exercise regime at least 2-3 times a week and you should be on your way to a balanced healthy lifestyle.

Stay tuned for more fitness and health tips!

You can read the original article here: http://www.theactivetimes.com/sitting-new-smoking-7-ways-sedentary-lifestyle-killing-you?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=sitting