Catalyst owner Bryan Smith is very interested in how you sit, how long you sit, and — more specifically — how you balance all of that sitting with the discomfort and body pain.
As a certified personal trainer in west Hamilton, Bryan was consistently seeing clients through the doors at Catalyst SPT who suffered from prohibitive nerve pinches and bodily discomfort, much of which was from the simple and repetitive task of sitting at the office or on their commutes.
“I’ve trained clients who, once they get out of bed, sit for breakfast, sit in their car on their way to work, sit all day at work, sit again on the drive home, only to head over to the couch for some well-deserved sitting,” Bryan says. “Over 90% of their day is spent in a seated position.
“Oddly enough, these are the people that come to see me who have the most movement restrictions as well as postural issues.”
Taking matters into his own hands, Bryan put pen to paper and created The Sitting Solution: Why we hurt, and what we can do about it.
We know by experience that too much sitting makes you tired, stiff, hunched over, and very sore
“Remember when you were younger and you mother said to you, ‘If you keep making that face, it’s going to stay that way’?,” writes Bryan. Well, it may not be the case for your face, but “when it comes to sitting, that statement definitely has some merit!”
The numbers are staggering; on average, it’s estimated that adult Canadians find themselves sitting for approximately 10 hours each day, and to very potentially negative results.
Research reports suggest sitting for more than four hours a day can lead to an actual reduction in life expectancy, the shutdown of enzymes responsible for burning harmful fats in the blood, a vast reduction in calorie burning and metabolic rates, a disruption in blood sugar levels, an increase in insulin and blood pressure levels, and the leg muscles actually just switching off.
The awareness campaign GetCanadaStanding.org goes further to say that, regardless of your physical activity levels, sitting for more than four hours a day can lead to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, some cancers, dementia, depression, as well as muscle degeneration and physical aches and pains.
“The short-term satisfaction comes at a long-term price on our bodies,” says Bryan. “What I hope to accomplish with this manual is to help get rid of some of the postural imbalances that sitting has caused.”
This 40+ page guide is an absolute must-have if you or your loved ones count onwards from hour five in a chair most days.
Cover to cover, you’ll find highly detailed instructions and how-to graphics to achieve proper stretches, exercises, and postures to both repair and prevent sitting-related injuries in the future. The book is a distillation of hundreds of potential exercises designed to reduce joint, muscle, and nerve pain as a result of too much sitting, but Bryan was determined not to overwhelm the home user.
“The exercises in this book are gentle enough for almost everyone, and can progress in difficulty for people who are regularly active and require more of a challenge.
“These are just going to get you started, and they are the ones I feel will be best suited to do at home for the average person’s ability. These are normal movements that require no weights, and should do wonders for your posture and for your pain.
“You will walk taller, and it probably won’t hurt to jog across the street like it used to. Your body will become more balanced, and you won’t come home and let out that long sigh when you get to sit down on the couch.
“Life will be easier, and that’s what we all want, isn’t it?”
You can get your copy of The Sitting Solution at Catalyst SPT, #10 — 318 Dundurn Street South, Hamilton, Ontario, or by calling 289-386-8655. Copies are $10 + hst.