Today, the most common cause of physical stress to the spine is sitting for extended periods.

I personally believe sitting for your spine is worse than sugar for your teeth.

We are, by nature, hunter gatherers. Our bodies are designed to walk and move so the spine’s movement can be fluid in full flexion and extension. If you are just sitting at a computer, or you work in an industry where your body is in a fixed posture, you will experience blockages and stress.

The spine’s movement in full flexion and extension

Many of us are living stagnant lives.

Our ancestors walked eight hours each and every day as hunter-gatherers. Their spines moved like they were designed to move equally forward and backward, in flexion and extension.

Today, many of us, adults and children alike, sit for eight hours a day at a desk, at a computer, on the sofa, or in a position that is not conducive to healthy flow and balance. As a result, we are becoming more and more sick with less and less energy.  

In the past, we might have spent six or seven hours a day walking. This is what our bodies were designed for.

When we walk, our spine goes into full flexion and extension. This gives the spinal cord space to communicate with and supply all of the nerves in the body.

But, the reality is, most people spend their time forward bending in flexion.

We get up in the morning and sit down to have breakfast, or perhaps watch TV, then sit in a car or bus or train on the way to work or school. We sit all day at the office or in the classroom, sit on the way home, watch more TV or sit down to do homework. Finally, we have dinner, and sit down to watch more TV or read, or bury ourselves in mobile devices.

Our spines are stuck in only one direction, one movement – forward flexion.

However, the spine is designed to be free to move in both directions in equal amounts.

Excessive sitting and depression

It really concerns me that our children are not having the full range of spinal movement in their growing bodies—and therefore their nervous system.

Research has indicated that our brains do not fully develop until our mid-20s.

Growing rates of depression and anxiety related illnesses in young people indicate that their nervous system is not functioning optimally.

I am not claiming that excessive sitting is the only cause of these illnesses, but I have certainly seen it play a significant role.

Even in sedentary employment, people need to take ownership of their health.

Absolutely, there are bills to pay and mouths to feed, but you need to remember that your body is the most important asset you have. If you continue to place your body under stress, it will only support you for a certain amount of time.

Make your body a priority

I think it is time to make yourself a priority and commit to taking care of your amazing body. 

If you are sitting all day in one position, then stand up and stretch every 20 minutes. We have flexible spines and we must keep them moving if we want to stay healthy and free from blockages and interference.

When you cannot stand, try to make sure that you’re moving and extending your spine as much as possible. If you work in an office, see if you can have a stand-up desk. If you can’t, then apply the basic ergonomic principles:

Keep your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest.

Don’t cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees.

Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.

Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back or use a back support.

Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground. 

If you would like to discover more about the Spinal Flow Healing technique, I invite you to join my FREE Facebook community, Spinal Health with Dr. Carli Axford

 

Yours in health and healing,

 

Carli Axford

Author Carli Axford

I’m a Healer, Chiropractor, Retreat Facilitator, Meditation Instructor as well as the Founder and Trainer of the Spinal Flow Certification Program.

More posts by Carli Axford

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