We all know that movement is critical to maintaining health – exercise is perhaps the single best thing you can do for your overall wellness, and frequent movement is a critical element in maintaining good spinal health and flexibility, but that does not mean you need to spend hours in the gym every day!
Why movement is so important
Your body, and your spine, are meant to move – although most of us no longer live in exactly this way, our bodies evolved to be active and on the move on a near constant basis. There’s so much research on the positive effects of exercise on all aspects of health that we won’t repeat the argument here – it’s safe to say that exercise helps to keep your body working well. It’s not just the case that performing exercise helps your body work better though -in fact, there are aspects of our physiology which do quite poorly without enough movement.
Spinal discs are a good example – having fairly poor bloody supply, spinal discs require movement to help them stay in top form. Similarly, the compression that occurs in your mid-back while seated stationary for long periods of time can lead to problems in your low back, and has been linked to shoulder issues. Researchers have also suggested that people who sit for the majority of the time are more prone to a variety of chronic health diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and depression. 
What’s more, many of us don’t even realise just how long we actually spend being inactive – Do you drive to work (remember when that was a thing?) and then spend your day on the computer? You may not even process the fact that you have been spending 8, 10, or even more long hours each day just sitting down. Your mind may be active, giving you the false sensation that you’re being “active” – but your body remains almost completely still – and often still in a poor position.
How can we be more active?
The good news is that reaping the benefits of regular activity does not require you to spend hours in the gym each day. Actually, it doesn’t even require formal “exercise”. Even little things like standing at work, walking rather than driving, taking the stairs rater than the lift and simply having a quick stretch every 30 minutes can make a big improvement in your overall health by helping to improve and maintain the mobility of your spine and joints.
Incorporating even a small amount of more formal cardiovascular exercise each day can also lower your risk of heart disease, help control your weight, and lower your blood pressure. Again, this need not take up a great deal of time – did you walk to work in the morning? Perhaps you could run, or jog back at the end of the day – you’ll get some valuable exercise and arrive home sooner.
For most people, these kinds of basic movement strategies shouldn’t cause pain or discomfort. If you do experience trouble with movement or improving your flexibility or are experiencing pain while sitting for long periods however, chiropractic care could be an excellent approach to address the painful symptoms associated with back, neck and shoulder pain, and improve your spinal and joint flexibility. Improving the mobility of your mid-back (thoracic spine) in particular can help to reduce low back pain, improve your posture, & even decrease your likelihood of experiencing shoulder issues.
A few small changes in your activity level can make a huge difference, so keep your health goals in mind and start taking small daily steps in the right direction. If you feel especially “tight” or have pain between your shoulder blades, let us know – chiropractic care, or an soft tissue based approach like massage may well be able to help.
 Exercise and Cardiovascular Health. Circulation. 2003.
 The Short-Term Effects of Thoracic Spine Thrust Manipulation on Patients With Shoulder Impingement Syndrome. Manual Therapies. 2009.