Monday, December 17, 2012

Want to Live Longer with Less Pain? Turn off the TV

Want to Live Longer with Less Pain? Turn off the TV

It’s been a long day of work. You’re mentally and physically exhausted. After leaving work, you go home and plop down on the couch where you rarely move for the rest of the night.

You’re not alone. Many Americans, especially during the winter months, are spending more time sitting on the couch watching television. There’s nothing wrong with giving your body the relaxation it deserves after working a long, hard day. The downside, however, lies in the fact that prolonged sitting can stress your body further and shorten your life span.

The human body isn’t made for sitting for extended periods of time (3 or more hours at a time). Prolonged sitting can be stressful to the tissues that support your spinal column, which can lead to muscle tension and fatigue, pressure among the discs in your vertebrae and joint strain. In fact, sitting for hours while watching television can cause:

  • Lower back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Severe headaches

The Downside to a Sedentary Lifestyle

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) studied the impact sitting and watching television has on life expectancy among Americans. Results showed that risk of dying from any cause was 18 to 45 percent higher among people who sat for 3 to 5 hours daily compared to those who sat for less than 3 hours daily.

Watching television for more than 4 hours per day increased the mortality risk similarly to the percentages listed above when compared to watching TV for less than 2 hours per day. Overall results showed that sitting for less than 3 hours per day and watching TV for less than 2 hours per day extended life expectancy by 1 to 2 years.

Not only is prolonged sitting and watching television for hours on end causing you lower back pain, neck pain or headache pain, it may also be shortening your life. Spending less time sitting and more time standing, walking or being active can easily lengthen your life and take away the majority of the aches and pains you feel every day.

Do you have severe pain in your back, neck, shoulders, arms or legs that’s lasted for weeks? You may have chronic pain. Explore the treatments offered by Capstone’s spine pain specialists that can give you the pain-relief you need today.

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