We love to sit, but did you know of the health risks of sitting too long in a place with no flexible movement? We all have experienced it before, the discomfort and aches we get when we sit in a fixed position for a good portion of a day, may it be sitting on a stiff chair, on a long-distance flight, working on a desk job all day long or driving a long distance without stops.
You might not realize it, but did you know that most of the physical pain on our body is because of excessive sitting. When we sit, there is a strong possibility that we are placing our body in an unfavorable position and as a result lack flexibility movements.
When we are so engrossed in our daily routine, for example, playing some video games, too busy with getting the job done on the computer we just don’t pay attention to the feedback the body gives us until it is too late.
Sitting Is Part Of Our Culture And Is Unavoidable
Today’s humans can’t help it because everything we do in our daily life needs sitting down. Our forefathers were always on their feet because they have to move a lot to get work done. They were much healthier and much of the diseases were unhurt of those days.
Their sitting position was sitting cross-legged on the floor, sitting on a lower bench, or how the Japanese practice till today. How long can you sit on a solid bench? Not too long because the aches will come in, making you uncomfortable, forcing you to move.
I believe those days the design of sitting chairs was more health orientated compared to today, which is more comfortable. We just love sitting down on every occasion.
We can go out with friends to a coffee shop, studying, commuting, eating, etc, or others and chat away without realizing the hours spend. This is today’s world where we seek the comfort of life. The chairs are so comfortable, standing and moving is a chore. But this comes with a price.
Have you considered how much time we spend sitting per day? This answer will get your mind wondering. Most of us fail in this as the hours spend standing and moving is much less than sitting or lying down.
We should by now realize that stagnated movement or sitting for a prolonged period is injurious to our health and longevity. It may be one of the single most debilitating position we can put our self in.
I cannot emphasize this more, that sitting is hurting you more than you understand or aware of.
Symptoms Of Sitting Too Long
Below are some initial symptoms’ of sitting for too long. But note that these are changes your body is going through indicating something bad is happening and immediate action to be taken before it leads to irreversible damage.
- Back pain- This is one of the major sign of something is wrong to our body. Our abs and glutes or more precisely the psoas muscles and the hip flexors have become weak.
- Knee Pain- All of a sudden you are walking or running or climbing the stairs you get some discomfort or pain the knees.
- Lower Legs- You feel the calves and the hamstrings are tight and hard to press.
- Discomfort in the shoulders- Once you have this aches most of us say it is because of stress but it is more related to the weaken muscles around our stomach and back.
- The stomach is bulging- you have tried many workouts but you still can’t get a flat stomach. These are symptoms’ of weak muscles because of too much sitting.
- Disrupt sexual function- without realizing your sex life will also be affected. Weakened muscles can cause decreased blood flow and circulation.
Many other symptoms are also not seen or can be felt, but knowing that with all these symptoms’ something needs to be done.
What Can We Do To Neutralize Sitting And What We Do Daily?
No doubt we just can’t change the way we have been doing things immediately. First, we need to be aware that sitting for a prolonged period in a chair is bad.
It is proven that if you think working out in a gym or do some sort of exercise after you have been sitting for a lengthy period will make life better than you are wrong. It might help in other factors like improving cardio or others, but not heal the symptoms above. You might aggravate the pain further.
Secretaries will tell you that getting lumbar support will help the back but the truth is far from the actual. You have weakened the muscles, and you need to make them strong again.
So what can we do? I have done the below exercises and have seen lots of improvement. Even I get my friends to work along.
If the things you are doing need sitting down and you have no other choice, occasionally try to do the following, standing and walking from time to time frequently. Use the staircase often, walk a long way, go and see a friend in the next building.
The key here is to move and not being stagnated. I want to point out here that the most important thing you can do to optimize your health is to just get into the habit of interrupting your long stretches of sitting.
So what are the muscles are we talking about. We call it in simple terms Psos and the Hip Flexors. If these muscles are not in balanced condition, lots of complications are derived. These are a group of muscles that works in pairs to counterbalance each other. If anyone of them is weak, this is where the trouble starts as the other muscle has to work harder to compensate for the weaker one.
These muscles connect the legs to the spine, meaning what we do the legs could affect the spine without us thinking about it or even feeling it.
Sitting will cause these muscles to tighten, your hips will become fixed and may cause the muscles to pull on your lower back, the reasons for the back pain.
This pulling on the lower back will decrease blood flow and circulation and at the same time nerve responses to the hips and legs. That is why after a long time of sitting you will take time to find your balance when you stand up.
This tight hip also affects our sex life for the above reasons. In sex, the hips are the primary movers and of course, we want our hips to be loose and flexible to achieve great dynamic sex life.
A Method In Optimizing Your Movement For Health, Longevity, & Performance
This blog isn’t about all doom and gloom because there is an easy fix. Click here to read more of what are these muscles and how we can go about strengthening them the simple way. Getting straight and correct to the muscles is critical and you will find the difference in a brief time.
Today’s world we are always looking for easy fixes and the exercises outlined will get you to the original healthy condition you once were.
I am a no doctor guy and believe in alternate methods in getting oneself back into a healthy condition. Believe in it as it has worked for me and many others who have similar problems.
So there you have it. Solve the problem of sitting by optimizing your movement and getting stronger. Don’t underestimate the power of movement.
In short, every muscle in our body needs to be exercised or used, if not, if you don’t use it you will lose it.
Do you have any complications you have and did you know it could be because of sitting? Please share your experiences below and what you have done to improve.