The most dangerous thing you do all day?

Based on the work we do at Primal Human Performance, we see a lot of people come in with all sorts of aches and pains to be treated by our physiotherapists, chiropractors, and registered massage therapists.

That’s not surprising.

What would be considered surprising to most people is that a majority of these injuries would not be considered acute injuries. Sure they may have acute onset such as the bending-down-to-play-with-the-kids back pain, the direct-contact sports injuries, the post-surgical rehab, and the fall-related ouchies.

However, most of these have underlying causes that have built up over time through repetitive strain or overuse.

The biggest culprit?

Through our assessments we’ve noticed that for a vast majority of people, the one fairly constant dangerous (in)activity that they do on a regular basis for prolonged periods of time is…


And unfortunately, most people unknowingly considered this a fairly benign part of their daily life.

We typically start our sitting in the morning at the breakfast table, then continue with our sitting during the commute to work or school, then we sit at our desks until lunch where we just shift our sitting from the office chair to the lunchroom chair.

Then, after lunch, most of us will return to our desks to carry on with the same form of sitting that we did all morning. At the end of the workday, we have our seated and sedentary commute home to look forward to.

Finally we arrive at home,  the television is switched on for some well deserved post-work relaxation before supper, which will take place while seated on the soft, comfy couch. Post-supper, the same posteriors are plunked back down on those plush cushions for some more relaxing reality-TV.

Then we do the same thing the next day. And the next day after that. And the day after that.

While the above may not apply to everyone, there are a significant number of people who would have no difficulty in seeing their daily routine played out as noted.

Here’s the rub…

This pattern of inactivity which plays out in millions of lives every day has fairly serious health consequences.

A recent editorial press release for the British Journal of Sports Medicine entitled: “Are we facing a new paradigm of inactivity physiology?” nicely sums up some of these dangers.

The authors discuss how recent studies suggest that long periods of sitting and “whole-body” inactivity (what we term sedentary behaviour) are “strongly associated with obesity, abnormal glucose metabolism, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and cancer, as well as total mortality.”

We don’t know about you, but we think that those are some pretty serious consequences from the simple act of sitting for too long.

The authors propose their new paradigm which consists of the following four tenets:

  1. Sitting and limiting non-exercise activity may independently increase disease risk
  2. Sedentary behaviour is a distinct class of behaviour with specific determinants and effects on disease risk, separate from the behaviour of leisure-time exercise.
  3. The molecular and physiological responses in the human body of too much sitting are not always the same as the responses that follow a bout of additional physical exercise.
  4. People already insufficiently physically active will increase their risk even further by prolonged sitting time.

The authors conclude that there are actually two behaviours (and their resulting effects) that we need to address:

  1. The benefits of regular moderate to vigorous intensity physical exercise
  2. The risks of too much sitting and limited non-exercise everyday life activity

So what can you do about it and how can you avoid these serious dangers of sitting for too long?

First, make it a priority to get a dose of moderate to vigorous intensity physical exercise. Moderate and vigorous here means moderate and vigorous for you, in your current state. If you are currently inactive, sedentary, or out of shape, you don’t need to start doing an hour of Ironman training a day. Just get started with five or ten minutes of physical activity and build from there. And it really doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it and you enjoy it. This takes care of behaviour 1.

Second, be aware of how much time you actually spend sitting in a day and make a concerted effort to minimize it. Instead of hanging out in the cafeteria for your whole lunch hour, take a brisk walk for 30 minutes. Instead of fighting for that seat on the bus or subway, stand for half the commute. When watching TV, get up and walk around during the commercials instead of flipping from channel to channel. These are just a few of the easy strategies you can implement to reduce your risk and improve your health. In the end, don’t over think it: sit less, and move more. And this takes care of behaviour 2.

Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know with your comments!

Yours in optimal health and ultimate performance.

Team Primal.

Beyond Survival. Learn to Thrive.

7 Simple Steps to Perform at Your Best

If you’re looking to perform at your highest level, there are a few things you should consider to ensure that your systems are firing on all cylinders and that you’re actually achieving your full potential.

Stay Hydrated: Many studies have shown that even a small drop in hydration levels can negatively impact performance. The ideal beverage is, of course, water. Being calorie free, it can be an important component of not only helping your physiological systems do what they are designed to do, but also helping you shed those unwanted pounds.

Fix Your Fuel: As any of the top race car drivers could tell you, their finely tuned machines wouldn’t be able to push the limits of performance without a solid supply of the best fuel out there for their engines to burn. Think of your body the same way. Eating the right foods, at the right time, will ensure that your body has the energy source it needs to keep you going. And going.

Pre-hab: The easiest injury to treat is the one you don’t have! Pre-habilitation means doing the right things to make sure your body is able to tolerate your sports and activities before you get hurt. This is prevention at its finest. Adding a pre-hab component could be as simple as putting a joint mobility/stability program in place (e.g. mobile hips and stable spine for low back pain avoidance), or it could mean working on some of your weak points (e.g. increasing core strength).

Rehab: While pre-hab is a great and can help reduce the risk of many injuries, unfortunately, it’s not 100% guaranteed. In sport, as with life, injuries can, and do, still happen. What’s important here, though, is that they are dealt with immediately before any secondary or compensatory issues occur. This is where enlisting the help of a sports-injury focused physiotherapist or chiropractor can really make a difference. The sooner you address the problem and resolve any lingering issues, the sooner you can get back to what you love!

General Fitness and Athleticism: Who couldn’t use more strength and flexibility? Or more cardiovascular endurance? Or more anaerobic power? While you may not be paid millions of dollars to play a sport, you are still an athlete! And these are just a few of the physiological components that you can significantly improve with a well-constructed, progressive and consistent training plan. As a bonus side effect, you’ll burn off a bunch of unwanted fat and have to buy yourself a new wardrobe to compliment your new chiseled, athletic physique.

Sleep: Tired. Fatigued. Fighting to keep your heavy eyes open, and your mouth closed from perpetual yawning. Sound familiar? If you’re like most people, you’re probably not getting enough of it. Or, if you’re one of the lucky few who gets enough hours down,  you’re might not be getting the quality of sleep your body needs. To help with this, develop good sleep hygiene habits. Set up a pre-bedtime routine that allows you to free your mind of the day’s stress and negativity. Disconnect from all your tech gadgets and gizmos (that means leaving your cell phone out of your bedroom!) and make sure your room is as dark as you can get it.

Rest and Recover: This goes beyond sleep. If you’re always on the go, there’s a good chance that you’re not getting enough rest and recovery. While not all stress is bad (it can be a really good thing, under the right circumstances), fighting it day in and day out without the opportunity to reset will leave your endocrine and nervous system fried. Carve out a small chunk of time where you can decompress, de-stress, and just let yourself unwind. Take a walk, read a book, or hop in the tub for a stress-busting soak. Your mind, and your body will thank you.

Yours in Optimal Health,

Team Primal

How can a physiotherapist in Woodbridge improve your health?

There’s Health and Then There’s Optimal Health.

Health is the ability to survive. Optimal Health is the ability to thrive.

Optimal Health is about taking, or regaining, control of your life, from managing stress to dealing with nagging aches and pains. It means doing everything you can to recover from injury, illness, or surgeries; it means being an active participant in your own care.

It’s about taking the right steps to improve your most valuable asset: your health.

Optimal Health is about living with an abundance of energy so you can readily take on daily challenges. It encompasses your nutritional status and your general fitness. It’s more than just doing the bare minimum to get by. It’s about reaching your true, untapped potential. It’s your opportunity to show the world who you really are. It’s your opportunity to shine.

The choice is yours…

You can choose plain, regular health. And just float through life in a haze, scraping by.

Or you can choose Optimal Health and experience the endless possibilities.

At Primal Human Performance, we’re here to help you find solutions to your problems.

Contact us today to start living your life, on your terms!