P is for Posture, standing or sitting.

at the Luxxe

P is for Posture, standing or sitting.

"The most important thing is posture: when you get older its the way you stand, the way you walk, that shows it" ( Carine Roitfeld 1954 - )

As I have become more and more aware of the need to consciously remind myself of my own posture, I find myself noticing how many people walk around in a slouched state with their necks bent forward. It used to be something characteristic of older people like some of the folks I would see shuffling around on the ships when I went on dance cruises. But now I see so many young people walking, eyes fixed on their mobile phones, necks bent forward and I wonder how slumped they will be as older individuals. I have a series of exercises I work on to counteract that neck bend, derived from years of working, seated at a desk, looking down at papers or at a computer screen. 

Sitting for long periods of time has been found in various studies to be associated with increased mortality and risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. A meta-analysis of 47 separate studies confirmed the risk of these adverse effects from prolonged sedentary time. 

Ages ago I found that sitting in order to work on my desktop computer caused increased  joint stiffness and low backache. So most of my computer time these days, is spent using my laptop on the kitchen counter. This is the perfect height for me to work standing up, and with rumba and cha cha dance music playing in the background, I keep my ankles, knees and hips limber by working on my Cuban motion. On days that I am working at home, I rarely sit, other than for a brief time to eat my salad lunch or supper.

When it makes its way to the top of my priority list, I am going to look into one of those adjustable height standing desks so that  I can comfortably use my desktop set up which is better for graphics and video work.

Because prolonged sitting has so many bad health effects it  has been called “the new smoking”. But it has been shown that if you quit smoking by age 30,  your life expectancy will be identical to those who have never smoked.  I wonder how long it takes for an active non-sedentary lifestyle to reverse the effect of years of sitting at a desk. Wonder if anyone has looked at that?