Is Sitting Really That Bad For You? | Paul Gough Physio

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Is Sitting Really That Bad For You?

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Sitting for long periods of time in slouched positions is the number one cause for back, neck, and shoulder pain for people who visit Paul Gough Physio Rooms.  

Sitting is a habit that each of us do every single day.  

We sit on average, for nine hours a day and that’s without considering the amount of time we spend lying down.  

I bet you’re sat down whilst you’re reading this right now! And I also bet that you’ve told yourself ‘that’s not me’ when you read the first sentence of this blog. But… it is.  

Think about it and break down your day, how active are you really?  

Almost every activity we do is centred around sitting, whether that’s driving, eating, working, watching TV or even relaxing. Don’t worry, I’m guilty of it too.  

If you’ve nodded your head and said yes to some of the points above, you could be at risk of running into problems with your health – all because you (and me) sit too much.  

Has your back, knee, neck and shoulder pain got worse since lockdown and you’re struggling to get back active? Here’s why.  

Our new blog post is all about why sitting is so bad for your health, and what you can do to limit your chances of developing health issues by improving your breathing, relaxing your muscles and more.  

Why Is Sitting That Bad?

Have you ever noticed your back and shoulders feeling tight and achy when you’ve been sat down for most of the day? Maybe you get that all too familiar feeling of just wanting to have a good stretch and a shoulder massage. Well… there’s a reason for that.  

Sitting makes your shoulders achy and tight because we often sit in a slouched position and roll our shoulders forward. Over time, this can put a strain on your back and neck, causing them to tighten up… which as you know is not a good feeling.  

I bet, if you work in an office, you’re probably holding your neck in an unnatural position. I know this because you’re holding your neck forward to look at your computer, this is again putting strain on your muscles.  

Even by just spending an hour sitting, you reduce your body’s ability to burn fat up to 90% as it slows your metabolism. This then reduces the amount of good cholesterol in your body, which could eventually lead to problems like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  

How Can I Ease My Shoulder Pain Whilst Sitting?

It’s simple…

All you want to do is relax your shoulders, then take them all the way up to your ears (almost like you’re halfway through shrugging), bring them all the way back so you’re pushing your chest out, bring them back down, and then let them relax forward slightly.

This is a much better position for your shoulders to be in, especially if you’re working in an office and sitting for long periods of time.

For a simple demonstration of this easy Healthy Habit tip, click the video below to watch our therapist Shauny show us how it’s done.


 Did You Know Sitting Can Affect Your Lungs And Other Organs?

This one might surprise you.  

When you sit for long periods of time, you actually reduce the amount of oxygen that enters your body. 

So, when you’re hunched over watching the TV or at your office desk, you’re compressing your lungs and limiting the amount of oxygen that fills them.  

Or have you noticed that you feel bloated after a long day?  

Well, this could be because your digestion slows down as you’re sitting in a curled position.  

How Can I Help Myself?

Great question, and it’s one that we all need to be asking.  

The harsh reality is that we all need to sit less and move more.  

Sitting down for long periods of time can cause problems, like Sciatica, further down the line, and other issues that get in the way of life.  

Stand Up When Talking On The Phone… Or Just In General. 

This is a personal favourite of mine; I much prefer being able to walk and talk at the same time. 

Standing up throughout the day and going for a short walk will help lengthen the muscles and stop them from being all ‘scrunched up’. 

Set A Time On Your Phone. 

Set a timer for every 30 minutes and stand up and walk! Sitting is something that was once only done only when we needed a rest, and now we spend the majority of our lives either sitting or lying down.  

By walking for just a minute or two you’re allowing for more oxygen to enter your body and improve your blood flow. Any extra time spent being active is a bonus.  


There’s a reason a morning stretch feels so good, it’s because you’re releasing tension from your muscles after staying in the same position. So, continue to do this throughout the day, whether it’s on your dinner break or when you get home.  


As well as this, try being more active on a weekend. Stuck on things of FREE things to do with the kids or grandkids? CLICK HERE  

Learn To Improve Your Posture

You don’t make a habit out of something without having an initial conscious effort. Apply this to your posture. Every half an hour aim to sit up straight and take a few deep breaths. This will, again, improve the amount of oxygen entering your body and might even make you feel more energized.  

Do you want to know how to improve your posture? CLICK HERE to read our top tips… as well as a video from our therapist Ell. 


So… Is Sitting Really That Bad For You?

As I used to say… is sitting the new smoking? (Yes, I’m being serious) 

It’s just a case of everyone else is doing lots of it, so it must be okay for me to do it too. The excuse that we hear all too often is ‘well… everyone did it’ and nobody questioned things like smoking until the damaging health studies were produced years and years later.  

All of the things I mentioned above combined are the reasons why you really should not be surprised if your workplace introduces a standing desk area. Once again… I’m being serious. Standing desk areas are there to allow you to carry on with your work but reduce the impact sitting has on your spine significantly.  


Would You Like To See A Physio For Free?

We realise some people want more than just some free health tips… That’s why we offer expert advice about the worry and frustration of life-changing aches and pains – for FREE, in under 30 minutes.   

Here are just a few of the things you will learn in one of our free taster sessions:     

  1. What is the underlying cause of your back pain? (hopefully nothing too serious!)    
  1. Roughly, how long will it take to fix my problem?    
  1. What to do to help – which doesn’t include painkillers, resting or surgery etc.    
  1. What other, natural, drug-free methods are there to speed up recovery alongside treatment?    

Our taster sessions are great for anyone that may be “unsure” if physio is right for them, and they give you the opportunity to ask questions and see for yourself if we can help you.   

We’ve got 5 taster sessions available this week. If you would like one of our limited taster sessions, please get in touch with the clinic using the contact details included below, and mention to the person who answers the phone that you would like to see a physio for free.  

We’re Here To Help…   

If you’re in pain and would like to talk to us about getting some help, some specialist advice, or if you are looking for a diagnosis, remember we are always here to help you…. and we’re offering you the chance to have your first session with a physio for FREE (with a taster session).   

If you would like to get one of our limited taster session slots, please click here to complete our enquiry form or CALL us on 01429 866771.    

P.S. Do you know someone with aches in their back?    

Who do you know that is always telling you about their aches and pains? We would love to help them live a pain-free life too.     

That person could be someone who you live with, work with, or an extended friend or family member, who is maybe suffering with some kind of ache or pain that we can fix.   

Forward this blog post full of health tips on to them. Even better, if you refer someone to come and see us at the clinic, you’ll be entered into our ‘Referral for Rewards’ prize draw, to say a huge thank you. 


Paul Gough
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