With all the warnings about fried foods, cigarette-smoking and environmental hazards, we sometimes find ourselves forgetting about one of the biggest, most common, everyday threats to our health: Believe it or not, it’s long-term sitting that stands (yes, pun intended) to hurt us the most. This may sound alarmist at first, but when you understand the human body and how we were intended to live and move, then you can imagine how staying parked in a chair can suck the very life out of you, and severely limit your mobility and posture as you age. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) names sitting as the fourth most critical risk factor for chronic disease and premature death.1
The good news is that the health risks are fairly easy to minimize. Even if your job requires 8 or more hours daily at your desk, you can easily promote recovery:
First, there are no excuses for not getting up and walking for a few minutes every hour. This is critical for total-body blood circulation, and circulation is the essence of health and cellular nourishment. Seriously, everyone uses the bathroom, gets coffee, grabs a glass of water, or checks in with a co-worker from time to time, so sparing a few minutes to walk every hour is an easy no-brainer that won’t raise eyebrows. If you skip this one, then you just plain don’t care about your health.
Second, it’s important to involve “core exercise” into your regular exercise regimen. No exercise regimen? At the very least, take a few minutes every other day to do a plank exercise, where your forearms and toes are on the floor and you hold a neutral-body position parallel to the floor. Hold for as long as you can, breathe regularly, and you’ll improve circulation and negate some of the damage brought on by sitting for extended periods – especially the damage done to your low-back and hips! It’s a smooth, sweat-free way to recovery your pelvis and mid-section from holding that tight seated position all day.
And, third on the list is as easy as putting on your socks. Actually, it is putting on your socks! Wearing compression socks, believe it or not, goes a long way in preventing the health problems associated with long-term sitting. Who knew solutions could be so simple, right? Wearing compression socks is no joke – it has been shown to prevent or reduce swelling and venous blood pooling in the legs and feet.2 This actually decreases the risk of blood clotting, which leads to blockages that cause heart attacks. Additionally, compression socks help increase circulation, which as discussed earlier has great whole-body benefits. While it might be hard to imagine that footwear can be so important, the truth is that this simple, small investment is a “step” each day in the right direction for better health and less hospital-time as you age.
See our entire line of compression socks for work, play and recovery.