Did you know that current research shows that sitting for long periods of time is a huge risk factor for numerous chronic diseases?

It is now known that prolonged sitting contributes to the risk of heart attack, stroke and a variety of metabolic syndromes.

As an example, a study by Dr. Hidde van der Ploeg found that sitting for 11 or more hours each day increased the risk of death by 40 per cent compared to sitting less per day.

Now, if you are a person that sits all day at work or at home, this all sounds pretty scary.

However, we have not even taken into consideration how these chronic illnesses are made even worse by a relatively sedentary lifestyle.

By this I mean that the general population is getting less active and bigger as a result.

For example, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that nearly 36 per cent of American adults are obese.

This is up from 12 per cent in 1990. Another 33 per cent of adults are overweight.

Therefore, when you combine the risk factors of a sedentary lifestyle, and the resulting obesity, with being seated for prolonged periods each day, the overall result is disastrous!

As a result of these issues, there has been an increasing interest in getting workers out of the office, or at least out of their chairs, and get moving throughout the working day.

As part of this trend, many employers have started to use and promote the stand-up workstation as a way of enforcing movement on an otherwise sedentary work force.

Some employers also encourage their workers to sit on special exercise balls  — aka swiss ball or balance ball — so they are forced to remain balanced when sitting, which activates many muscle groups.

As a chiropractor, I would also suggest workers get up and take a quick walk around the office after every half hour of sitting.

In addition to this, performing simple neck and back stretches during the day will prevent potential neck and back pain, as well as keep you active throughout the day.

Ask your local chiropractor for examples of these stretches and exercises.

Finally, it is well documented that participating in any form of regular exercise before or after work will lower the severe risk factors listed above.

This means that if you simply cannot get up and move around during your work day, such as a logging truck driver, then you need to some form of exercise at the end of your day or on your days off.

This should also be combined with monthly visits to your chiropractor so he or she can help maintain the proper mobility of the joints and muscles of your body.