The Damage of Sitting
Let’s be honest, a majority of us spend a great deal of the day sitting. Whether that means sitting at a desk, in a car, or sitting when we get home from work. It’s a huge epidemic, and it can do some pretty extreme damage.
I’ve been working a deskjob for the last 25+ years, and I can tell you without a doubt that I struggle with chronic pain and tightness that I need to work on consistently to keep at bay.
But why exactly is sitting so bad for our health? Sitting extensively not only leads to tight muscles, but can also lead to weak and overstretched muscles. Additionally, Excessive sitting leaves your hips and legs tight and your glutes inactive. So how can you undo the damage of sitting?
1. Stretch Hip/Hip Flexors
After sitting in your chair for for a long amount of time, the angle between your torso and your thigh is shortened. But why does this matter? Well it causes the muscles in the front of your hips to shorten. Over a long period of sitting day in and day out, your hip flexors will begin to tighten in this position.
This can cause many problems, including lower back pain. So what can you do? Stretch those hips! Stretching the hips and hip flexors can help prevent your hips from tightening.
2. Low Back
Many of us are slowly losing our good posture, and this wreaks havoc on our lower backs. Most of us are guilty of slouching, especially when we are sitting for a long period of time.
However this slouching puts tons of excess stress is put on the lower back and the vertebrae. So what’s the solution? As you sit throughout the day, try your best to focus on sitting up tall, with a straight spine, and keeping your shoulders drawn back. This can help prevent poor posture and back pain.
3. Chest and Shoulders
Just as with the hips, most of us tend to lean slightly forward and allow our shoulders to round forward as we work at our desk. This leads to tightened chest muscles and front shoulders.
So what can you do to prevent this? A great stretch is a door or wall stretch for the chest, if you know this is an area you need to focus on.
4. Stretches To Do At Your Desk
If you add some of these stretches throughout the day, you can help relax muscles and prevent them from tightening.
- Seated Figure 4 Stretch
- Spinal Twist
- Neck Stretch
- Spinal Reach with Clasped Palms
- Chest Opener
- Hip Flexor Low Lunge
- Hamstring Stretch
- Child’s Pose
- Cobra Stretch
If you can add some of these stretches into your daily routine, it will make a world of a difference. The best way to avoid the damage of sitting, is to try your best to prevent. Whether that means standing at your desk instead of sitting or getting around and walking for a few minutes, as long as you are moving.
The Damage of Sitting Takeaway
In short, sitting for extended periods of time day in and day out can have some serious consequences. It’s best to prevent this damage by finding ways to avoid sitting in your daily life. That could mean stretching at your desk, standing instead of sitting, or even talking small walks every 40 minutes. The best thing you can do for your body, is move around!
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Author: Chris Friesen
Chris Friesen is a gym owner, personal trainer, online fitness coach and former “fat dad” living on 60 beautiful acres of countryside in rural Canada.
He specializes in helping busy parents shed body fat quickly, WITHOUT becoming gym rats OR giving up the foods they love to eat.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 kids, sitting in his hot tub out in the snow with a glass of bourbon, and yelling at his (many) misbehaving barn cats.
CLICK HERE to download his Free Guide to rapid fat loss, “The Calorie Backloading Fat Loss Method”