Thiel: Fighting our sedentary urges

We have become a sedentary population. Our society and technology is to blame for that.

Most of us drive to work, sit at work, go home and sit in front of the TV only to end our day with going to sleep.

Exercise, nowadays seems to be something that has to be planned for.

An article recently published in the Archives of Internal Medicine talks about the dangers of sustained sitting.

They found that people who spend most of their day sitting are up to 40 per cent more likely to die from any cause when compared to people who don’t sit as long.

These were some of their findings: in the over 200,000 Australian adults who were followed for three years, individuals who sat less than four hours per day had a 15 per cent lower chance of dying when compared to those who sat for eight hours, and a 40 per cent lower chance of time for people who sat more than 11 hours per day.

This is one of the first studies to correlate life longevity with sitting duration.

It has been well established that even the most modest form of exercise is better than none at all.

I’m certain that this is not the first time that you heard that a sedentary lifestyle lends one to words infirmary, illness and premature death. It only makes sense.

There are many small steps we can take throughout the course of the that can improve on one’s physical fitness and staves off the untoward effects of a sedentary lifestyle.

For example, when possible, take the stairs. Park your car at the farthest possible parking spot in the lot. Begin a walking program at lunchtime or after dinner with your family.

If you really want to reduce your chance of failure towards and exercise routine, make a commitment with someone else to do it together.

Some of us are more likely to disappoint ourselves than someone else.

When you wake in the morning, commit yourself to a brief bout of calisthenics lasting only five minutes. It’s a good start.

Within our body we have a system called the lymphatic system. The system is essentially our sewer system.

It takes away our waste products for processing and elimination.

The lymphatic system works best when the muscles of the body are pumping, that same activity seen in exercise, movement and walking.

More movement means more healthy.  Less movement means less healthy.

I’m reminded of a quote that a Buddhist master told me once when I was in Nepal. He said the body is meant to be a river, always moving.

We are not meant to be a stagnant pond. There is much life in a river and only foul smell in a swamp.


Dr. Markus Thiel is a Doctor of Chiropractic in Kelowna.

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