somatic sitting

Is sitting the new smoking?

In this week’s blog I am going to discuss how sitting for long periods of time can have a negative effect on your health. We will consider the common statement made which is “sitting is the new smoking.”

As the Founder and Somatics educator for, I see many clients with back pain and limited movement due to their office jobs. Many have invested in stand up desks to reduce being seated for hours on end. This is a brilliant way to adopt a mindful and preventative approach to their health and well being. But globally, we are sitting for longer periods of time now than ever before.

Research has shown that for every hour of seated TV watching, we cut approximately 22 minutes from our lifespan. In contrast the study revealed that smokers shorten their lives by 11 minutes per cigarette.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Most of our day is consumed with work and other activities. Many individuals, including children spend 80% of their working day sedentary. This correlates with people suffering with back pain or other neuromuscular discomfort and tightness. Unfortunately pain is not the only issue with a sedentary life, but the increased rates of obesity.

We were not designed to sit all day but rather move freely. So many people will try to counteract sitting all day by doing quick fast movements at the start or end of their day. This is great that people are aware of moving to keep healthy and mobile but this short, sharp activity will not offset the imbalance we create for the rest of our day.

According to Professor Adrian Bauman of Sydney University’s Public Health, he said, “Going for a run or walking the dog doesn’t counter inactivity. It is about the total energy expenditure across the WHOLE day.”

In addition to these comment James Levine, an obesity expert from Mayo Clinic concluded very interesting remarks.

“A few years ago, I would have actually said to you that the person who is doing their session at the gym once a day is doing everything they need to do. But the data that is now coming out suggests this isn’t the case.

Being sedentary for 9 hours a day at the office is bad for your health whether you go home and watch TV afterwards or hit the gym. It is bad whether you are morbidly obese or marathon runner thin. It appears that what is critical and maybe even more important than going to the gym, is breaking up that sitting time.

I don’t think sitting will ever be as much of a risk as smoking. But how much sitting is bad for us?….probably somewhere between 8 and 12 hours each day and that risk accumulates.”

So how can we change our lifestyle? After all we have to work to pay our bills and live. So we have to develop a balanced attitude in this area.

Mindfulness with Total Somatics teaches you how we can adopt the Somatic principles set out in the online program to our daily activities. Being Somatic means to become mindful in all areas of our life so we start to move, sit, think, eat and drink in a balanced healthy manner. When we bring somatic awareness to our life, we start living holistically. This brings an increased awareness to many areas of our life. We can note where we need to change habitual movements and behaviours which has caused us pain and limited mobility.

As today’s blog is focused on sitting, I am going to guide you through a seated awareness scan. So if you are sitting at work, in your home office or commuting, you may want to use these prompts the in audio attached to help self correct and improve your internal GPS so that you can maintain a good posture. This area of awareness and how we can retrain our mind and body to work more efficiently is covered in greater detail with my online program at

Mindfulness with Total Somatics ( teaches you how you can take somatic movements taught in the online program to your daily activities. So to increase your awareness to how you hold yourself and how YOU CAN REDUCE PAIN AND MOVE FREELY, join my online program today. Many people globally are finding Mindfulness with Total Somatics has improved their health and well being with the knowledge and skill set acquired during the online program. The online program is convenient because you can log on and follow the program at your own speed.

Join me today at Start living a mindful and healthier life with knowledge and skills to make pain and stiffness a thing of the past.

See you online,

Heidi Hadley xx

Seated Awareness Audio.





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