There is one thing we as Americans can do very well, sit. From our jobs to our driving we can easily spend 90% of our time awake being seated. With this increased amount of time being seated comes increased health problems. One of the most immediate hazards of increased sitting is a bad back. Risk of a herniated disk and lack of spine flexibility increase concurrently with the amount of time you are seated. The muscles of the abdomen are not used when in the seated position, which causes them to weaken and become mushy. This weakening of the abdomen causes a lack of support for the core and more specifically, the back. Prolonged sitting limits mobility in the hips and limits the range of motion.
Studies show there is a direct link between increased sitting and colon, breast, and endometrial cancer. Being active increases the production of antioxidants, which reduces free radicals and in return reduces cancer risk.
When sitting, do not lean forward; keep your arms close to your body, and shoulders relaxed. Keep your feet flat on the ground and elbows bent at 90 degrees. If seated at a desk, get up and take a short break approximately every 30 minutes. Lastly, incorporate stretching into your routine, to keep muscles properly lengthened and blood flowing.