For almost five years, I have believed that sitting is the worst thing we do to ourselves. I've been telling friends and family how we sit most of our lucid lives-- at breakfast, in the car, at work, at lunch, at dinner, and in front of the TV-- and that this sitting is doing all kinds of damage.
These studies suggest that prolonged sitting sharply inhibits the body from regulating glucose and fat, which could lend knowledge to the diabetes epidemic.
They also suggest that exercise may not really help those who sit for periods longer than four hours. (you can read the AP story above...)
In the last five years, I have created all my own sub-theories, which differ from those in the studies.
First, the studies take the sedentary angle, meaning, they focus on the fact that while sitting, the body is stationary. Although this is true, my focus is on blockage, meaning, that while sitting, blood and energy are kept from circulating smoothly.
I know, I sound all "hocus pocus" again; so let's try a drill, and I'll explain more:
Sit on a hard wood chair or a hard bench. After a few minutes, try to figure out which butt cheek you're sitting on MORE. I promise that you're biased toward one cheek (you mostly likely TWIST at the waist also).
This butt-cheek-bias is called imbalance. It is a very bad habit that goes unnoticed. Like your bias to one leg while standing, your butt-cheek-bias is causing muscular- stabilization zig-zag up your spine and uneven stiffening of your hips. These in turn cause impedance of visceral production and blood flow through the joints. THIS IS BLOCKAGE.
In other terms, it causes one hip to degrade faster than the other, one knee to degrade faster than the other, etc. When you finally stand up from a sitting, your body clenches unevenly, and though you stand erect, you're crooked as hell.
FIGHT BACK ! To combat this self-mutilation, you must figure out to which butt cheek you bias and to which leg you bias when standing. Now, reverse it ! Try sitting on the other butt check, and standing on the other leg (always bend your knees a little). TRY TO MAKE THIS NEW BIAS A HABIT WHEN YOU SIT AND STAND.
The Tenets of Tai Chi say "if you have areas where you cannot find opportunity, your sickness is to be found in the hips and waist."
My teachers father, Fu Wing Fay, said, "Little is it realized that the human body has a network of passages (through which our vital energy circulates) which is like streams and rivulets running into large rivers. When the streams, rivulets and rivers are not in any way blocked and water runs naturally from its distant source far and wide along these waterways, then you will gain incomparable strength. The network of passages in our bodies (called Jing Luo) is just like that. If there's nothing to cause a blockage, then our blood and chi will naturally flow to all parts of the body, and wherever you intend, your chi will follow. If you continue to practice for a long time every day, you will receive this injection of blood and chi that circulates through your whole body without stoppage or stagnation at any time; your real chi will become abundant. Naturally, illnesses cannot develop, and there's no question of your life being prolonged. For those who have learned tai chi chuan well, their outside appearance is as soft as cotton, distinguished and learned. But inwardly, they are firm and strong, and nothing can stand in their way."