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Revealed... The Real Reason Why Sitting Is As Bad For You As Smoking and Why You Need To Get Off Your Butt Right Now!!

Sitting is such a threat to your health that it has prompted researchers to begin to call sitting “the new smoking”. This because it has been found to increase the risk of heart disease to the same extent that smoking does. But why is sitting so bad for your health? How does it harm your body? How can you combat its effects?…

The answer lies in the effect that sitting has on your brain and nervous system. You all know that your brain is the main battery for your entire body and the messages from your brain control and regulate how everything works in your body. How you move, think, digest, breathe, pump blood, get rid of waste and how you heal are all controlled by your brain and nervous system.

How sitting adversely effects your brain and nervous system is that some parts of your brain need feedback from your body in order to work properly. This is called activation of your brain. One area of your brain that requires this activation is the frontal lobe of the brain.

The frontal lobe of your brain has three jobs…

1) To relax the muscles that hunch us forward to allow us to stand upright with our eyes level with the horizon
2) To relax and calm your nervous system’s response to stress.
3) To calm and control our behavioural impulses

The frontal lobe of your brain gets activated primarily by feedback from your legs, trunk and spine. The spine provides most of the stimulation to the frontal lobe. This is why us chiropractors focus so much on upright and balanced spinal posture.

Screen Shot 2018-09-05 at 6.15.54 PMWhen you sit down (and often in a hunched forward posture) your frontal lobe isn’t receiving any information from the back part of the spine nor from the trunk and legs. The result is that the frontal lobe does not get activated and so does not send out its normal signals.

This results in:
- a lot of your muscles tightening up causing you to slouch you forward
– your nervous system gets in a perpetual state of heightened stress
– your emotional fuse shortens

Think about the health effects of this!

1) You will have a poorer posture and tighter muscles increasing your risk of various aches and pains due to the lack of relaxing input from the frontal lobe of the brain.

2) Your bodies internal organs become continually under stress. What happens when you are under stress? Your pupils dilate. Your heart beats faster. Your blood pressure rises. Your lungs breathe quicker. Blood gets diverted from your brain, organs of digestion and elimination to your muscles. (This  is why we regularly measure your blood pressure, blood oxygenation, your breathing and your eyes) Can you see how being in this more stressful state can affect the health of your eyes, heart, lungs and digestive area and your brain? Most of the current research has focussed just on the effect sitting has on your heart and they say that it is bad for your heart as smoking! Neurology tells us that other areas are equally at risk.

3) You only have to tour social media and see the absolute vitriol and abuse to see the effects of prolonged sitting by keyboard warriors. At the same time, levels of bullying, abuse, depression, anxiety, low emotional resilience and suicide are at all-time highs. If you are slouched behind a computer you are more likely to have less control of your emotional impulses because when sitting your brain isn’t receiving the calming messages from the frontal lobe of your brain.

So you can now see that the frontal lobe of your brain plays a really important role in your health and we know that sitting has a severe impact on this part of your brain and your health. Now understand that the frontal lobe of your brain isn’t fully developed until you are 25 years old! It is very plausible that prolonged sitting before the age of 25 can influence the actual development of the frontal lobe of the brain creating the possibility of some permanent lifelong effects.

So get up of your butt and start moving.

Also get up off your butt and get your butt and the rest of your body to a chiropractor. Why?

Just like the movement of a windmill generates electrical power, the movement and alignment of your spine (and in particular, your neck) provides about 90% of the power to activate the frontal lobe of the brain. A proper neck curve and upright alignment maximise the activation of the frontal lobe of the brain. Research is already warning you of the health impacts when you don’t activate the frontal lobe of your brain through sitting.

So in a world where we are often required to sit a lot, you can see how a chiropractic adjustment is an important step to help waking up the frontal lobe of your brain so you can have a more upright posture, have a calmer stress response and better emotional and impulse control. You will notice that we often measure a patients heart rate and blood oxygenation before and after an adjustment and it’s not uncommon to see a lowering the heart rate by 10-20 beats per minute while maintaining and even improving their blood oxygenation. That helps to confirm the calming effects the chiropractic adjustments do have on the frontal lobe and your nervous system.

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