As seen in the March/April issue of Advancing Care
Recent studies on the effects of long periods of sitting are a hot topic, says Rocco A. Chiappini, MD, Regional Director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at HealthAlliance Hospitals and MidHudson Regional Hospital, members of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth).
Risks include decreased cardiovascular endurance, slowed metabolism, increased blood pressure, obesity, constipation and muscular effects.
“Rounded, poor posture leads to hunched shoulders and neck. Constantly stretched extensor muscles become weaker. Basic changes — like proper chair height; stretching; moving your ankles, feet, arms, neck, chest and hips; and walking around — make a difference.
“We teach ‘90-90-90’ to rehab patients: 90-degree angles at hips, knees and ankles mean a more erect spine and less hunching.” Dr. Chiappini recommends setting a timer for periodic posture checks and movement. “Get up one to three minutes every half-hour, do basic stretches or walk to the water cooler to chat about last night’s game.”
Or, take a cue from Winston Churchill and Ernest Hemingway, both of whom had standing desks.