The Impact of Sitting All Day – Part 1 20 Aug 2019For most people know they sit all day as part of their job. Recently there has been a spate of article in the press about the impact of sitting all day, so I wanted to take some time to look at the impact of sitting all day.
Sit up StraightI want to start this series of articles on a positive note, as most of my clients have to sit to work, the negative impact of sitting is minimised if you sit correctly. As your Mum always said, "Sit up straight", i.e.
- Not leaning forward
- Shoulders relaxed
- Arms close to sides
- Elbows bent 90°
- Lower back should be supported
- Feet flat on floor
So what happens if you don't sit up straight?
As you would expect from a masseur I am going to start by looking at the impact on your muscles.
Strained Neck & Sore ShouldersIf most of your sitting occurs at a desk at work, craning your neck forward toward a keyboard or tilting your head to cradle a phone while typing can strain the cervical vertebrae and lead to permanent imbalances. The neck doesn't slouch alone. Slumping forward overextends the shoulder and back muscles as well, particularly the trapezius, which connects the neck and shoulders. Here at Vitality Therapy we offer Seated Acupressure Massage to directly address these issues.
Bad backWhen we move around, soft discs between vertebrae expand and contract like sponges, soaking up fresh blood and nutrients. But when we sit for a long time, discs are squashed unevenly. Collagen hardens around supporting tendons and ligaments. So people who sit more are at greater risk of slipped disks or herniated disks.
When you sit for a long time, a muscle called the psoas travels through the abdominal cavity and, when it tightens, pulls the upper lumbar spine forward. Upper-body weight rests entirely on the ischial tuberosity (sitting bones) instead of being distributed along the arch of the spine. A sports massage or a deep tissue massage can release a tight psoas muscle.
Mushy absWhen you stand, move or even sit up straight, abdominal muscles keep you upright. But when you slump in a chair, they go unused. Tight back muscles and wimpy abs form a posture-wrecking alliance that can exaggerate the spine's natural arch, a condition called hyperlordosis, or swayback. So sitting up straight is the first step to good abs!
Tight hipsFlexible hips help keep you balanced, but chronic sitters so rarely extend the hip flexor muscles in front that they become short and tight, limiting range of motion and stride length. Studies have found that decreased hip mobility is a main reason elderly people tend to fall. So when you are in the gym remember tohttp://vitalitytherapy.co.uk/wp-admin/post-new.php stretch your hip flexors.
Limp glutesSitting requires your glutes to do absolutely nothing, and they get used to it. Soft glutes hurt your stability, your ability to push off and your ability to maintain a powerful stride when walking. They can impact your performance when you run, as all powerful glutes are the key to increasing your speed and powering you up hills.