In the U.S. we hear a lot about our health problems and the blamed culprit is usually our diet and lack of exercise. What many people often forget, however, is how many of us are also sitting for long stretches every day as a result of the modern professional environment, which consists primarily of sitting at a desk all day.
Even if you exercise for a few minutes each day, it is difficult to offset the detrimental effects of constant sitting. Our bodies were designed to be in constant movement, not just 30–60 minutes a day. The average American adult spends 9–10 hours a day in a chair, resulting in a variety of negative consequences to their health. (See this article for a more in-depth overview.)
One of the health issues that we talk about frequently at Hourglass Angel is back health. Here’s what a sedentary lifestyle can do to it:
Neck and shoulder strains: if you spend any amount of time in front of a computer, you probably know what this feels like. You may tend to hold your neck and head forward; in addition you might cradle a phone to your ear. As a result your cervical vertebrae may suffer strains, which over time can lead to permanent imbalances. In the immediate aftermath you may suffer from chronically sore shoulders and back.
Back pain: When you’re sitting you put more pressure on your spine than when you’re standing; it’s even worse when you’re hunched over a computer. An estimated 40 percent of people who suffer from back pain spend long hours in front of a computer screen each day.
When you move around, the disks in your back expand and contract, which allows them to absorb blood and nutrients. But when you’re sitting, these disks are compressed. Over time they can lose their flexibility and even become herniated. Ouch!
It’s a sobering fact that a desk job can be so bad for your health, even if you exercise regularly. But don’t despair; there are a few steps you can take to combat the effects of this kind of work environment.
How Wearing a Waist Trainer Help Your Back
While many people are attracted to waist trainers because of the benefits of a smaller waistline and a thinner appearance, there are other benefits as well.
Wearing a waist trainer forces your torso to keep a straighter posture. Wearing a compression garment for an extended period provides back support because of the binding and cinching effect. The boning inside a cincher or corset also provides firm abdominal support, which creates a constant reminder for you to sit up straight throughout the day.
(Bonus: you’ll also be encouraged to have better portion control during snacks and meals, which could help curb the weight gain that goes hand in hand with long hours of sitting.)
The key to getting the most back-supporting benefits from your waist trainer is wearing one that fits correctly. If you choose one that is too tight, not only will you be extremely uncomfortable, but you won’t be doing your body any favors by smashing your abdomen. Be sure to consult our sizing charts and follow these tips for choosing the best waist trainer for your shape, size and lifestyle.
It’s also very important to use waist training as a complement to a healthy diet and consistent exercise. While you might like the way your waist trainer makes you look with minimal effort, there's so much more to gain by implementing a workout routine at the same time. Be sure to incorporate strength training and high-intensity cardio to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your waist training regimen.
More Tips to Counteract Long Hours of Sitting
A waist trainer can be a huge aid to your back health as a part of healthy lifestyle plan, but you may still need to address the fact that being stuck in a chair all day can hurt you. Here are some simple changes you can make to get moving and get healthy:
- Take every opportunity to stand up when you can. Walk across the office to talk to a coworker rather than sending a message.
- Park your car farther away from the entrance, wherever you go.
- Opt for the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Use a tracking device to count your steps and work up to 10,000 steps a day.
- Organize your office space so that you have to stand up in order to retrieve files, answer the phone, etc.
- Find alternative ways to work at your desk like an exercise ball, a chair without arm rests or even a standing work station.
- Set a timer to remind yourself to be standing for at least ten minutes during every hour.
- Try some simple desk exercises throughout the day.
- Choose to walk or bike to work or when running errands instead of driving. If you take public transportation, remain standing when possible.
- Use your free time to engage in active movement instead of continuing to sit. Try doing some stretches while watching TV instead of lounging on the couch.
When you’re motivated and you put your mind to it, living a more active lifestyle is not very difficult. And it can do wonders for your health. If you’ve ever suffered from chronic neck, back or shoulder pain, then you know just how much it can put a damper on your overall wellness. While it can be tempting to simply reach for pain-killers or expensive medical treatments, you will only get so far in addressing the symptoms without getting to the root of the problem.
Waist training can be an essential and very effective part of your healthy lifestyle plan. Just remember that while it’s an important piece, it’s still just one piece. You have to put the whole package of healthy eating and movement together in order to achieve the very best results and stay healthy for a lifetime.
Have you benefited from corrected posture as a result of wearing a waist trainer? We’d love to hear about your experience! Share it with us by contacting us directly or using #BeTheHourglass on social media.