Adopting the correct sitting position is an important step to avoid neck and lower back pain (Shutterstock)

Research has found that sitting for more than 8 hours a day and doing tasks that consume a small amount of energy;

Such as office work, using the computer, reading, or watching television;

“It increases the risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, back and joint pain, weight gain, cancer, and even early death.”

Since the modern lifestyle requires people to spend most of their day sitting (for example, American adults spend about 8 hours a day sitting), with the exception of some walking from home to the car or bus, or to and from work, or to visit friends or restaurants, many They try to overcome the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle by regularly exercising.

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However, Dr. Keith Diaz, assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University, emphasized that regular exercise alone “does not do much to offset the negative effects of sitting for long periods.”

The Fox website explained, “Muscles that are active during exercise contract again when we do not use them.”

“The leg muscles are in a shortened position when sitting, which can lead to stiffness, pain, and difficulty moving,” says physical therapist Scott Capoza, adding, warning that “when we sit for longer periods, we do not perform any type of cardiovascular activity, which results in "It makes sitting unsuitable for the heart, lungs and blood circulation."

When sitting, the leg muscles are in a shortened position, which can lead to stiffness, pain, and difficulty moving (pexels)

Only one hour is the maximum seating time

Experts say that the maximum amount of time a person can spend sitting should not exceed one hour, after which one must get up from the seat at least once every hour, “to compensate for the negative effects of sitting for long periods.”

A study conducted in 2023, in which Dr. Keith Diaz participated, found that “5 minutes of light walking every half hour can help reduce some of the risks of sitting.”

5 minutes of light walking every half hour can help reduce some of the risks of sitting (Shutterstock)

Think of a way to remind you to get up and get moving

“Don't ignore stiffness or lethargy, or think that muscle soreness will be treated with more rest; rather, it is a signal that we need to get up and move,” says Dr. Diaz, who notes that back-to-back meetings, or entertaining content on the Internet, can keep us glued to our seats for hours on end, without... we feel;

It was found that most of the study participants forgot even to stand up from their seats.

Which made him suggest using a smart watch, or fitness tracker, to remind you to get up and move, at a rate of every 30 to 60 minutes.

Or linking getting up to a certain habit, giving your body a signal when you should move;


  • Stand at the end of each conversation, to get some movement.

  • Make finishing a presentation, or getting something done, an opportunity to take a short walk.

  • Make your water bottle smaller, so you can get up to fill it whenever it is empty.

As for Scott Capoza, he recommends setting a phone alarm, or placing a sticker next to the computer screen, “as a reminder to stand at the same rate.”

Sitting for longer periods is harmful to the heart, lungs and blood circulation (Bixabe)

Gimmicky to get more traffic

Whether you're working in the office or at home, Scott Capoza suggests that "once you're out of your chair, go through some low-effort, but beneficial, movements that reduce the risks of sitting, such as:

  • Fill the water bottle from a farther place.

  • Go to the bathroom on another floor.

  • Take advantage of phone call time to take a walk, or empty the dishwasher.

  • Park the car at a further point in the parking lot.

  • Get off the bus a stop or two early and walk to work (if time and weather allow).

Dr. Burton Coghill, an assistant professor at the University of California School of Public Health, also mentions the “walking meeting” technique, saying, “It encourages more movement while working.” Although it is relatively specialized.

Move even while sitting

Coghill and Capoza agree that fidgeting, tapping toes, rolling shoulders, raising heels and ankles, and extending legs;

“It can keep your joints flexible.”

Other easy movements that you can do at your desk or in front of the TV include:

  • Regular squat exercise, whether leaning on or without a chair.

  • Wall push-ups.

  • Moving the upper body, such as raising the arms above the head and to the sides.

Dr. Diaz also suggests riding a stationary bike, or using resistance bands whenever possible.

Any amount of movement - even just standing and touching your toes - is better than sitting for long periods (Bixaby)

It's best to have strong movement

Although any amount of movement, even just standing and touching your toes, is better than sitting for long periods;

“5 minutes of slow walking is more effective for reducing the negative effects of sitting than 1 minute of slow walking,” Dr. Diaz and colleagues say.

But Diaz adds, "If you only have one minute, make sure your movement is stronger and more intense" in ways;


  • Brisk walking.

  • Climbing and descending stairs.

  • Do housework.

  • Playing with the kids at the end of the work day instead of lying on the couch.

If you only have one minute, make sure your movement is stronger and more intense (Shutterstock)

Make sure you have good sitting posture

Because the correct sitting position is important “to avoid neck and lower back pain,” according to Capoza.

  •  Make sure your hips and pelvis are slightly higher than your knees.

  •  Your feet are on the ground with your weight distributed evenly between them, without lifting one of them onto a chair or ottoman.

  •  Your weight is distributed between your pelvis and your feet to relieve pressure on your back (do not sink into your chair and your weight will shift to your pelvis and hips).

  •  Make sure the computer screen is at eye level, looking straight ahead and not down (sit 45 to 60 cm away from the screen).

  • Try not to lean forward, or raise your shoulders.

  • Don't work at a standing desk (coghill warns that standing for too long can cause problems).

Finally, “You must make movement, in all its forms, a primary goal for you as much as possible throughout your waking hours, throughout the week, and not just on workdays, especially if you have an office job.”

As your day winds down, you can focus more on rest, “as our bodies need to rest and recover from stressful times, efforts, and stress,” says Dr. Diaz.

Source: websites