Can Sitting too Much Affect IBS?
Last updated: April 2019
I've already written on this site about how the kind of positions we sleep in can impact IBS, but what about the postures we assume during our waking hours? And in particular, can sitting too much impact IBS?
Traveler's constipation from lack of movement
When I was in my early 20s I accepted a summertime position as a resident camp counselor all the way across the country in Colorado (I was living in Massachusetts at the time). I decided to ride home to New York City the week before the assignment began and from there, take an Amtrak all the way to Boulder. The Amtrak trip was several days long. Even though in a train you can walk around a bit, the stagnancy of sitting and the stress of dealing with a public toilet and the intermittent fasting (I didn't want to eat too much and wind up with diarrhea on the train), still contributed to me getting constipated. And it turns out I am not alone. This is such an issue it even has a term--"traveler's constipation." Just as movement can stimulate the gut, so can stagnancy.
Keep moving to avoid IBS flare-ups
Something I learned is when traveling a lot, and stuck on a train or a car, is to try to still make sure to move around as much as possible. So, when I took another long train ride that was 12 hours, I made sure to get up at least once an hour to walk around the train. I also massaged my calves and back and stretched my muscles. When I am on the road behind the wheel, I try to take as many breaks as possible, stopping at rest stops and walking around a bit before returning to the car.
But it's important to keep moving every day, not just when traveling. I work from home as a freelance writer and editor, so I spent A LOT of time sitting at a desk. I try to make sure to get up at least a couple of times an hour to walk around and stretch. I also try to make sure to get out of the house most days to have a 15 to 20 minute walk around my neighborhood. I find this gentle movement keeps me regular and staves off IBS flares.
Do you have trouble trying to balance your diet with multiple illnesses?
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