Sitting Disease: Could you have it?

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Sitting disease: It's not rare and it affects people young and old, but doctors say there are ways to prevent it.

Stuart Klugler has been seeing a chiropractor for about three years now, and for most of his life, he was an IT professional who sat at a desk and computer all day.

"I knew with dealing with operator services through human factors, not only do your eyes need to look out...your whole body does," Klugler said.

He found out that sitting for long periods of time led to other health issues. Most people may think of sitting disease as being lazy, sitting and watching television all day, or even sitting, eating, and not exercising, but here's some news: this goes for professionals who sit for long periods of time, too.

"Eighty percent of Americans will experience back pain and it could be from work activities or their sedentary life," said Leo A Levesque, Chiropractor, The Joint.

Dr. Leo says no one is exempt. He is a former service member who recounted all the times he sat for long periods of time and put stress on his body.

"I know from personal experience that I've had fractures throughout every thoracic vertebrae of my body because of my training, and chiropractic is one of the things that has helped me along the way," he said.

Dr. Leo says sitting for long periods of time can also have effects on your spine, especially if your posture is bad.

"All that stress goes directly to the bones, which causes increased pressure on the discs," he said. "The majority of sitting disease creates a bulging disk. The vertebrae is going to straighten out, and it's going to squeeze out and pull all of the pressure into the other."

How many of you can say that you're sitting with good posture right now? Probably not many, so it's become a natural way of living for most of us. There are also other things Dr. Leo says can develop from sitting disease, including increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and increased cardiovascular disease.

If this story scared you out of your seat a little bit, here's a rule to remember: the 20-80-2 rule. For every 20 minutes of sitting, stand for eight minutes and move for two. You'd be surprised at the small changes you're making to lead a healthier life.

"Pain is the very last symptom that we experience, so if you're experiencing pain, you've already waited too long, and if you've waited too long, you're probably going to end up at a chiropractor every other week.

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