7 Reasons Why Standing is Awesome (and sitting is not): Reason #7

Standing helps keep nutrients moving through the body and to the brain

Sitting decreases the movement necessary for spinal discs pumping nutrients and expelling waste

Dr. Heather:

The only way discs of the spine can get nutrients is through a process called imbibition, which is a pumping action that only occurs with movement. This movement is largely restricted when in a sitting position. Our bodies were designed for movement, and movement is essential for keeping the brain-body connection strong. Here are some examples:

• When muscles lengthen and contract, it forces blood through the veins and back towards the heart. Sitting or staying still in the same position can slow this flow down.

• Sitting can put a kink in the aorta (largest artery of the body), this can create turbulence in the area which can cause plaguing over time.

• Every nerve needs fuel, oxygen and activation in order to survive, most of us probably do not have a problem with the first two but we all can use help with the last one. We activate large portions of our brain through movement. That activation is called proprioception. Proprioception is the brain’s awareness of where a joint is. When our bodies are in motion, the mechanoceptors, muscle spindles and golgi tendons sense the rate of movement in the joint and send that information to the brain. These proprioceptors stimulate the brain and help block pain signals.

If that’s not enough, here are the other reason we’ve already covered about the benefits of standing and moving:
• Standing keeps your joints healthy.
• Standing helps prevent injuries.
• Standing decreases compression on spinal discs.
• Standing burns calories.
• Standing maintains stability in hip joints.
• Standing prevents neck tension and keeps shoulders stable.

Dr. Dave:

I think we can safely conclude that sitting is on its way out. Standing is the future of the work environment. So get used to it. Better yet, reach out to your employer or HR department and ask for a standing desk. It never hurts to ask, but it may send your spine, brain and heart into a never ending downward spiral of disease and decay if you don’t. Hey, it’s possible. Just remember sitting will slow down your body, and standing will help you get moving and stay healthy.

So who else spends the majority of the day sitting? How about your kiddos? As these little critters head back to their classrooms this fall, think how much they are required to sit each day. Then add the time they sit with screen time, homework and reading. That’s a lot of sitting! Some schools are starting to add standing tables and standing desks to the classroom. Sadly, not enough and the process is slow. The dilemma is worse for kids also. Kids bodies are very adaptable and not yet fully developed. Their brains still have to undergo two more massive “pruning stages” where the brain clips unused connections to make it more efficient. If they don’t use all those movement nerves they may have a harder time later in life learning new movements such as dance, sports or martial arts. Kids have to move early and often. Changes in how a kid runs can be seen as early as first grade! We have to encourage our kids to get up and get outside. If they have to sit at school, you better make sure they are getting that movement at home after school and on the weekends.

In our next series we will cover more about the benefits of standing for our children. There are so many more reasons to get those kidlets up and moving and playing outside. Thanks for reading and make sure to share this with someone!


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