Today we’re talking about a bad habit that is now an epidemic in our society, certainly in my own life, and maybe in yours too.

Sitting. All. Day. Long.

Since I took The Whole Journey online a few years ago, I’ve been spending so much more time sitting in front of a computer and while I love reaching more people, my body lets me know daily that I’ve created a bad habit I need to break.

I brought in an ergonomic specialist and it helped a little, but I still have some accumulated damage to undo.

From driving, to sitting at a computer, to sitting on the couch at night, the sedentary culture of America is taking a huge toll on our health.

Dr. James Levine, Director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative and inventor of the treadmill desk wrote a book called Get Up. I highly recommend reading that if sitting is a major issue for you.

I wholeheartedly agree with him when he says “we’ve created a modern way of living that clashes with the way we’re meant to be”.

All this sitting and screen time is taking away from our health and happiness and we need to find a way to balance it with being out and about, active and in the world.

Dr. Levine connects too much sitting to obesity and in this New York Times article. He points out how researchers have identified at least 35 diseases, from diabetes to osteoporosis, to cancer, that people who spend all day in chairs have an increased risk for. He coined the term “Sitting is the new Smoking” as he says…

“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV, and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”

There are plenty of solutions to this, thank goodness.

1: Buy a stand up desk or computer stand lift (so you can stand at your counter or just put it on top of your existing desk), or it’s in your budget, get a treadmill desk.

Or, for our DIY folks, make your own! Look at all of these great ideas on Pinterest.

2: Take calls standing, stretching, or walking wherever possible. If you work at an office, love yourself and your body enough to have a chat about your need to move more with your boss or human resources director.

3: According to Alan Hedge, Professor of Ergonomics at Cornell University we should stand for 20 minutes of every hour and stretch for 4 of those minutes. He says this is an easy strategy for better bone density.

What do you say, can you commit to this next week? How about we do it together?

4: Heal from the Root Cause.

Just like when you stop eating poor quality food and move to real food, you’re doing yourself a world of good, but often there’s aftermath to clean up before that real food diet can really work to your greatest advantage.

This is no different.

I have searched high and low to get back to feeling comfortable in my body again after 2.5 years of being way too sedentary. I’ve done yoga, jogged, went back to the gym, stretch out before bed, get massages on occasion, and do Pilates here and there. While all those things are amazing and feel good, I didn’t start really feeling different until I found my, now friend, Joe at a place called Stretch U.

Joe started stretching me and working with the fascia to help undo the damage from the root. Fascia is a band or sheet of connective tissue, primarily collagen, beneath the skin that attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs.

When you’ve got a long-term bad habit like sitting – stretching is not enough. You must work with the fascia.

While I’m not there yet, I’m getting there and with a few more months of Stretch sessions, I think I’ll be on the up and up.

If you’re local to San Diego and want to check out Stetch U, you can find them in 4 locations here.

For those of you who are not here (and those of you who are too ;), Joe and I shot a short video for you to show you the three stretches you can do for 4 minutes each hour to undo the effects of sitting too much.

Studies have repeatedly shown the effects of long-term sitting are not reversible through exercise or other good habits alone. We must get to the root cause to reverse this epidemic of the technological age.

We have so much power with each and every choice we make. Choose wisely and don’t beat yourself up for past choices. We are always free to choose again.

Maybe start with getting up and stretching a little after you read this blog. 😉

It will help you bring back circulation, sleep better, and eliminate chronic pain.

Cheers to moving just a little bit more each day. 🙂
p.s. – another book that I haven’t read yet, but want to (because I have a dear friend who says it’s changed his life and helped him get out of pain) on this subject is called Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement by Katy Bowman, M.S.