In today’s modern lifestyle, many of us find ourselves sitting for extended periods—whether at work, during commutes, or even relaxing at home. While sitting may seem harmless, research increasingly reveals its negative implications on our health and well-being. At Shannon Clinic, we believe in educating our community about the risks of prolonged sitting and promoting the transformative benefits of physical activity, under the guidance of Dr. Nicholas Shannon, a leading sports chiropractor in Melbourne CBD.

The Hazards of Prolonged Sitting

Prolonged sedentary behaviour, which involves sitting for more than 5 hours and up to 11.5 hours per day has emerged as a significant health concern in recent years. Evidence highlights its association with various adverse health outcomes, including:

  1. Musculoskeletal Issues: Sitting for long periods can lead to lower back pain, neck and shoulder pain when associated with computer use, reduced muscle activity, fat free mass, strength and bone mineral density. Dr. Shannon emphasizes the importance of ergonomic workspace setups and sit-stand desks to alleviate these issues among his Melbourne patients.
  2. Cardiovascular Risks: Extended sitting has been linked to increased risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as elevated blood pressure, cholesterol levels, impaired blood circulation and poor cardiovascular fitness as well as increased risks of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality. This underscores the importance of incorporating movement breaks and physical activity throughout the day.
  3. Metabolic Consequences: Prolonged sedentary behavior is associated with metabolic disturbances, including reduced insulin resistance, increased total body and visceral (organ) fat, in addition to higher risks of diabetes. Research underscores the metabolic benefits of breaking up prolonged sitting with light physical activity, which can improve glucose metabolism and lipid profiles.

Benefits of Physical Activity

In contrast to the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting, physical activity offers a myriad of benefits that promote overall health and well-being. Dr. Nicholas Shannon advocates for integrating regular physical activity into daily routines for his chiropractic patients in Melbourne, highlighting these transformative benefits:

  1. Improving Low Back and Neck Pain: Engaging in regular multidisciplinary functional exercise programs such as stretching, core strength, cardiovascular and resistance training is effective in the short and long term at improving pain and function in those with mechanical low back pain. Furthermore, those office-workers who are more physically active are less likely to experience neck pain than their sedentary counterparts. It is for these reasons Dr. Shannon utilizes exercise therapy as a part of his treatment and preventative chiropractic care in Melbourne CBD.
  2. Enhanced Cardiovascular Health: Physical activity supports cardiovascular health by promoting cardiovascular fitness, lowering systolic blood pressure, and improving circulation bringing with it a reduction in cardiovascular disease mortality and hypertension.
  3. Reduced Cancer Risk: Physical activity is beneficial in the prevention of several types of cancers including breast, colon, endometrial, kidney, bladder, esophageal and stomach cancers.
  4. Mental Well-being: Exercise is a powerful tool for reducing stress and is associated with reduced odds of anxiety and depression. Even if individuals engage in physical activity levels below the current recommendations, they can still achieve significant mental health benefits. Furthermore, physical activity improves cognition, including memory, processing speed and executive function.
  5. In The Elderly: Physical activity helps to prevent a decline in bone mineral density and functional ability, as well as reducing the risk of falls and fall related injuries.
  6. In Pregnancy and Postpartum Women: Exercise confers benefits through reduced risks of pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, excessive gestational weight gain, delivery complications, postpartum depression

Integrating Physical Activity into Your Lifestyle

At Shannon Clinic, we emphasize personalized strategies to help individuals mitigate the effects of prolonged sitting and embrace an active lifestyle. Furthermore, we advocate to patients the minimum physical activity guidelines for overall health and wellbeing – 150 mins per week of moderate to vigorous activity. Incorporating these practices can lead to positive outcomes nor are they difficult to implement. Examples of ways to be more physically active and less sedentary include:

  • Structured Exercise Programs: Tailored exercise regimens which include a combination of cardiovascular exercise and resistance training designed to address specific health goals. To understand what type of cardiovascular exercise is better for you, moderate continuous or high intensity interval training have a read of our blog post here.
  • Social Sports: Taking up a social sport that is of interest is a great way of meeting new people and achieving the minimum physical activity guidelines. This could be a running group, tennis, paddle tennis, a mixed sport such as basketball, netball etc.
  • Active Breaks: Encouraging regular movement breaks throughout the day to interrupt sedentary time and promote blood flow, joint mobility, and mental alertness.
  • Modifying Workplace Behaviour: With our chiropractic clinic based in the Melbourne CBD, we encounter many patients who are too sedentary in the office. Simple behavioural changes in the workplace can help to interrupt sedentary time including sit to stand desks, standing and walking meetings, organising lunch time walking groups, providing employees with gym access and instructional guidance, encouraging using the stairs if offices span multiple floors.


For some it is finding enough time in the day to exercise, for others it is about finding a form of physical activity they enjoy. The key message is that any physical activity is better than no physical activity. Meeting the minimum physical activity guidelines can be easily met through changing some simple habits such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, taking a walk at lunch, or walking to the station or shops instead of driving. Simply achieving 6,000 to 8,000 steps (>60 years old) and 8,000 to 10,000 steps (<60 years of age) per day will result in a reduction in mortality.

As advocates for holistic health and wellness, the Shannon Clinic emphasizes the interconnectedness between sedentary behavior, physical activity, and overall health outcomes. By raising awareness of the hazards of prolonged sitting and promoting the benefits of regular physical activity, Dr. Nicholas Shannon and his team aim to empower individuals in Melbourne to prioritize movement and achieve long-term health goals.

For expert chiropractic care in Melbourne CBD and guidance on integrating physical activity into your lifestyle, contact the Shannon Clinic today. Discover how personalized treatments and evidence-based strategies can transform your well-being, alleviate musculoskeletal issues, and enhance your quality of life.