Sitting: The Silent Killer

It’s been dubbed the new smoking by Dr James Levine, an internationally recognised obesity expert and professor at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, who adds, “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.” Scarily, even the fittest and healthiest among us are at risk.

It’s estimated that the average Australian sits for more than six hours a day and the results are certainly being seen by Elixr’s resident physiotherapist, Daniel Kerner, who’s been treating more and more patients for posture-related back and neck pain.

The good news though is that it’s not too late to correct your posture. By adding these five quick and easy exercises to your workday (all of them can be done at your desk) you can kick start your journey towards a better posture, without breaking a sweat.

1. Cervical retraction

  • Find a comfortable seated position or stand with your back against the wall.
  • Tuck your chin as far back as you can and hold the position for 5 seconds, then relax.
  • Repeat 10 times.

2. Chest opener

  • Sit with your feet flat on the ground, your hands resting behind your head.
  • Place a small rolled up towel along the length of your spine.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together, hold the position for 10 seconds, then relax.
  • Repeat 10 times.

3. Thoracic rotations

  • Gently rotate your body to the left and hold the position for 10 seconds, then rotate to the right and hold for another 10 seconds.
  • Repeat 5 times on each side.

4. Pelvic rocks

  • Sit with your hips pointing forward and your feet flat on the ground.
  • Slowly tuck your pelvis back, rounding through the spine.
  • Then slowly rock your pelvis forward, extending through the lower back.
  • Repeat 10 times.

5. Gluteal stretch

  • Sit with one foot flat on the floor and the opposite leg in a figure 4 position, resting
  • over the top of the other leg.
  • Gently lean forward and hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side.

What if I’m still in pain?
If you’re struggling with persistent pain, it may be time to book an appointment with a qualified physiotherapist. Daniel Kerner is based at Elixr Bondi Junction, where he offers:

  • An in-depth history and detailed physical examination to identify the source of the pain.
  • Specific treatment targeted at the painful joint, segment or muscular system.
  • A personalised exercise program to help retrain the system and keep pain at bay.

For more information, contact Daniel at daniel@dkphysiotherapy.com.au or on
041 422 6633.

About Daniel Kerner
Daniel is a graduate of the University of Sydney and is skilled at identifying and correcting bio-mechanical faults in movement patterns. He also works as a physiotherapist for the Wests Tigers NRL club.