Posted on 08-21-2013
IS SITTING THE NEW SMOKING?
Above is a May 18, 2013 headline from the "International News Magazine" in Australia. The article and several others in additional publications, report on "Spinal Health Week" in Australia, and urge people to get moving.
The article begins by reporting, "In a national survey conducted by UMR for Spinal Health Week, 90 percent of Australians said too much time sitting and not enough exercise is the most significant cause of obesity." The report said that 63 percent of Australian adults are overweight or obese.
Andrew McNamara, CEO of the Chiropractors' Association of Australia, notes that sitting can create a whole host of health issues. "Sitting has the potential to be the new smoking because if we don’t do something about it the health impacts are profound." He continued, "At the moment over 2 million Australians suffer the terrible impacts of bad backs and the pain that’s associated with that. It’s having an enormous impact on their personal lives. It’s having an enormous impact on the economy. We have data which suggests that it costs Australia up to $12 billion a year in lost productivity, in welfare payments, and in medical support."
In a May 25, 2013 article in the Queensland Times, Patrick Sim, National Director of the Chiropractors Association of Australia, also warns of the detriment of sitting all day at a desk. He notes, "It is about movement," he says, "and you need to get more of it." In this article, he suggests getting up every hour and moving around for a minute to help break the sitting pattern.
In the International News Magazine article McNamara added, "I believe that sitting may be the new smoking. We know how damaging smoking is. Our lifestyle has changed excessively over the last number of years, we spend way too much time sitting, both at work and at home, and it’s something that we need to address to prevent future problems." He continued, "Postural fitness is important because everyone understands the term fitness. Fitness is something you work at and posture is something that we understand as well. And postural fitness, when you put it together, is about working hard, working in a way to improve your overall health and wellbeing."
In explaining the need for a Spinal Health Week, McNamara states, "Spinal Health Week to us, as a chiropractor, is about educating and inspiring people to have a more active life and being a chiropractor in the city we tend to see people who spend excessive amounts of time sitting. Our recommendation as chiropractors for people who sit too much is to get up and be more active, to see a chiropractor or a health professional who can assist you in improving your posture."
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