The Benefits of Pilates on the Health Risks Imposed By Long Hours of Sitting

Posted on Apr 17, 2017

Are you spending most of your day sitting, hunched over your computer for hours at work? We are aware that too much sitting can be detrimental to our health. But do you really know why it can bad for your muscles, or body in general?

There are numerous studies which showed that sitting for long periods of time can result in a number of health concerns, like obesity and other metabolic problems. When left unchecked it can potentially lead to increased blood sugar, high blood pressure, and increased fat deposit around the waist. Furthermore, the effects may even lead to fatal consequences.

Let’s dig a little deeper and understand why you need to be more physically active, and how Pilates can help you in that area.

Problems Caused by Prolonged Sitting

Cardiac Concerns

Spending too much time sitting can have us reaping the effects of sedentary behaviour which could have one digging an early grave. Sitting slows down your blood flow and muscles burn less fat. This makes it easier for fatty acids to clog up your heart. This behaviour increases your risk for cardiovascular disease by up to 125%.

Digestive Problems

Sitting for prolonged hours after eating can cause your abdominal contents to compress, in effect, this slows down digestion. Lounging after a good grub may seem the least dangerous but it can actually lead to constipation, bloating and heartburn.

Diabetes

Did you know that a day of prolonged sitting can already affect how your body deals with insulin? This stimulates your pancreas to produce more of it, which could lead to diabetes. In fact, every extra hour that you stay sedentary increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 22%. However, it should be noted that sitting per se is not the problem, but rather closely associated to it.

Cancer

According to studies, there is a consistent relationship between the hours one spends sitting and the likelihood of getting three types of cancer: colon, endometrial and lung. The research looked into sedentary behaviour and the incidence of cancer by looking into several indicators such as recreational sitting time, occupational sitting and TV viewing time.

Posture Problems

Strained neck and shoulders to back pains, these are some of the postural problems caused  by prolonged sitting hours. Whether you are working on your computer or talking on your phone, it is common for you to hold your head and neck forward. This strains the cervical vertebrae resulting in permanent imbalances. Meanwhile, sitting creates more pressure on your spine compared to standing and this will only worsens when you spend hours hunched over your computer. Sitting excessively increases your risk of developing herniated disks.

Muscle Degeneration

Sitting causes you to use your abdominal muscles less, whereas standing would require you to tense your abdominal muscles more. When your core is left unused due to prolonged sitting, it gradually weakens.

Dare You to Move

When you settle of sitting for the most part of the day,  you welcome the following health problems:

  • Limited mobility
  • Increased muscle and joint pain
  • Difficulty maintaining an optimal body weight
  • Increase risk for injury and illness
  • Poor circulation
  • Restricted breathing

So, get up and get moving before you simply end up wishing you felt better and desperately look for a miracle cure.

How Can Pilates Help?

Let me get you in on some good news. Did you know that regardless of how old you are, it is never too late to improve your strength, posture, flexibility, and health in general? It basically boils down to three key components:

  1. Preparing your body to begin the process of change.
  2. A good understanding of what you are working on.
  3. The right exercise that can be incorporated into your routine.

Pilates is a type of exercise that can help you ease into a more active lifestyle. The exercises can help give you the necessary stretch to relieve any aches and pains that are caused by awkward working conditions. It helps you with self-inflicted and correctable poor body mechanics.

Experts say that even the slightest increase in activity levels can save you from the bad effects caused by prolonged sitting. This type of exercise doesn’t necessarily push you for heart-pumping levels, but rather focus on your core. More than just improving your posture and core, this exercise is also beneficial for your mind and well-being.

The Pilates Method is an good way to learn exercises that will strengthen the right muscles and enhance body awareness. It starts with non-weight bearing exercises and body positions hat make it easier to find better alignment. While you stretch and muscles, you also coordinate breathing with body awareness, which are factors which can also be applied to everyday activities.

It Pilates Plus it is our goal that the improvements in body mechanics that you develop from conscious exercise will eventually become unconscious lifestyle habits. Eventually it will be the way that you naturally move, stand and sit.

Join our trial sessions today and see if Pilates is the activity for you. Having settled in a sedentary lifestyle for quite some time, gradually train your body to get up and get moving even without having to pound pavements.