26 Feb The importance of movement
A sedentary lifestyle is reality for a majority of the population. Thanks to Covid – 19 many people have spent more time sitting down over the past two years, rather than being active. Has we have mention in a previous blog titled the “Dangers of a sedentary lifestyle”, prolonged sitting is detrimental to your overall health. This is why we as osteopaths encourage all our patients, both young and old, to be as active as possible. Being active can help you achieve a long and pain-free life. The more you move the better your quality of life will be.
What is movement?
The World Health Organisation describes physical activity “as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure”.
This includes any sports, walking, hiking, running, swimming, cycling, gymnastics, form of dance, ball games, going to the gym, martial arts and many other activities that increase your heart and blood flowing throughout your body.
Many well-known international health guidelines, including NICE, recommends that you need to complete an average of 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous intense physical activity. This amount of time may vary depending on your age, fitness level and overall health.
The benefits of movement:
Movement is great for improving both your physical and mental health, as well as your overall wellbeing. Other important benefits of movement include:
- Reducing your risk of cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease
- Improving your mood
- Reducing your stress
- Improving your brain function
- Improving your motor function
- Helping your and heart health
- Strengthening your body, as well as your muscle and bone strength.
- Improving your balance
Can osteopathy help you move?
Musculoskeletal disorders are a contributing factor to worldwide disability. Conditions such as chronic back pain, sciatica, osteoporosis, and herniated discs, cause the people suffering with it to refrain from physical activity, either due to the painful symptoms of their condition or because they are unsure of how safely exercise with said condition.
This is where osteopathy can be beneficial.
Osteopaths are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat any MSK and muscle discomfort you may experience throughout your body. They use a hands-on therapy approach the osteopath will use gentle techniques to you relieve the pain and discomfort from the affected area. The main aim of osteopathy is to help you manage your pain, improve your body function and mobility. The osteopath will also be able to advise you the appropriate exercises you should be doing for your condition.
Studies have shown that prolonged excessive sitting can cause many diseases and conditions, including obesity, hypertension, back pain, cancer, cardiovascular disease and depression. Being more active throughout the day can help to mitigate these the occurrence of this conditions.
Here is how you can incorporate movement into your day:
- Use a standing desk when possible.
- Set a reminder to stand and move at least once per hour.
- Take a walk over lunch.
- Walk during phone or conference calls.
- Park far from store entrances, and enjoy your walk to and from.
- Skip the elevator and use the stairs.
- Walk around your house when doing routine tasks like brushing your teeth.
- Take your dog for a long walk once daily.
- Walk on a treadmill while watching TV.
- Do garden work, such as mowing the lawn, raking leaves or planting flowers.
- When at home play your favourite playlist and dance like no one is watching.
Jagim, A., 2020. The importance of movement. [online] Mayo Clinic Health System. Available at: