The Art of Anti-Sitting

Are you sitting? Comfortably? Too comfortably? Most of the UK population probably is currently, and the latest research suggests that:

Regardless of how much exercise you do, remaining seated for too long is

bad for your health

Studies have linked excessive sitting to some frightening outcomes; one of the largest pieces of research to date on the subject, which involved almost 800,000 people, found that when compared with those who sat the least, people who sat the longest had a:

  1.  112% increase risk of diabetes
  2. 147% increase in cardiovascular (heart-related) events
  3. 90% increase in death caused by cardiovascular events
  4. 49% increase in death from any cause

There appears to be something specific about the act of sitting that is bad for us humans, possibly related to changes in metabolism which result from sitting, affecting blood pressure and blood sugar amongst other things, but it’s likely that there are a number of factors that make sitting “bad”.poor posture desk

And remember that the amount of exercise taken was shown to be irrelevant… Sobering stuff!

So what can we do to avoid falling victim to these statistics? It’s simple really and doesn’t even involve doing more ‘exercise’. It requires us to develop:

the Art of Anti-Sitting

Maybe I’ve just coined a phrase. By ‘anti-sitting’ I simply mean: what are the opposite and counteracting positions to the bum-on-seat mode? I’ve shown a few below – simple and easy to apply anywhere; make a feature of them in the workplace, get your workmates taking part, pop them in between meetings or phone calls and help NEUTRALISE the sitting disease!


The Leg Stretch – sit on the edge of your seat and lean forward from the hips until you get a stretch in the back of the straight leg and hold…




The Hip Stretch – this one stretches the front of the backward hip and the back of the forward leg; find a comfortable stretch and hold…




The Back Stretch – reverse that flexed sitting position by taking your back in the opposite direction; raise yourself up only as far as is comfortable – onto elbows or hands if you can manage, keep stomach and bottom muscles relaxed and hold…



The Twist – you can do this in sitting too; keep your hips facing forwards and rotate your bellybutton, ribs, shoulders and head to the side and hold…



reverseflydoorwayThe Shoulder Stretch – stand on tiptoes and lean slightly back onto the doorframe with your weight supported on your arms, lower yourself backwards using your arm and back muscles, then push with your arm and back muscles to bring you forwards, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the end to stretch out the front of those restricted shoulders! Repeat…


And here are a few bullet points for general, daily ways in which inactivity and sitting for too long can be avoided – yes I’ve probably mentioned them before but they’re VERY relevant to your long-term health prospects and soooo easy to do:

  • if you’re doing a seated activity, get up every 15 minutes or so for a stretch and a wander round
  • stand up and move during TV advert breaks
  • use the stairs as much as possible
  • take up active hobbies
  • join in community-based activities/classes/groups
  • take up active play with the grandchildren
  • do a variety of housework

Thanks for reading, as ever, pop some feedback on the review link below to let me know if you found this article useful and get up, stand up and have a break!

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Feb 14, 2017 by John Billingsley

Julie, I just thought I should pass on my thanks for these bulletins - they're really useful. I still keep getting leg problems from time to time - generally when I'm doing too much writing or editing - but the things I learned in my sessions with you are standing me in good stead. Thanks again!

Sports Massage Therapy, Remedial massage, Physiotherapy // Calder Massage, Hebden Bridge , USA 5.0 5.0 1 1 Julie, I just thought I should pass on my thanks for these bulletins - they're really useful. I still keep getting leg problems from time to time - generally when I'm doing too muc

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