Is sitting harmful?

At The Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre a number of our patients have been asking us about the recent media references to ‘Sitting is the New Smoking’.

The Australian Physiotherapy Association has also recently launched its ‘Australia’s Biggest Killer - Lose the Couch and Get Moving’ campaign. These public awareness initiatives highlighting the health related issue of prolonged sitting and ways of counteracting these adverse effects are strongly supported by The Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre.

The recent rise in obesity rates has been of particular concern along with the links between excessive sitting and inactivity. In managing patients with back and neck postural issues and developing injury prevention strategies our physiotherapists have long advocated the need to regularly  break up sitting periods with short bursts of activity and the adoption of a variety of appropriate work positions.

Emerging research has focused on how prolonged, uninterrupted sitting has harmful affects on how the body breaks down fats and sugars which, like smoking, can lead to an elevated risk of developing serious health issues such as heart disease, type 2 Diabetes and even cancer. Disturbingly it has now been found that conventional fitness regimes do not counteract these risks and it is regular standing and walking throughout the working day and at home that is more successful in reducing the health risks associated with prolonged sitting. Rather than undertaking peak periods of exercise, what is more relevant is appropriate levels of energy expenditure throughout the whole day. Active sitting strategies and standing workstations may also be appropriate.

 If you have concerns regarding how prolonged sitting is affecting your general health, weight management or postural/musculoskeletal status the physiotherapists at the Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre are well placed to advise you on how to integrate appropriate exercise and activity into your lifestyle. As medical conditions, general health and weight management are complex and integrated issues they are often best addressed by a team approach and our Doctors, Exercise Physiologists, Dietitians and Physiotherapists can work together to help you with managing these important issues.

To arrange an appointment with any of our health professionals please phone 9650 9372 or book online.