Is sitting down that bad for you?
The human body was never designed to be sedentary – we originated from hunter gathers meaning we were designed to move constantly throughout the day. Prolonged sitting and inactivity has repeatedly been identified as a risk factor in weight gain, chronic disease, heart disease and can contribute to musculoskeletal pain!
Side Effects of Sitting too Long
- Shortened hip flexors (iliopsoas and rectus femoris)
- Shortened hamstrings
- Inactive glutes and core
Think about the normal daily routine – wake up – sit down for breakfast – sit to commute to work – sit down at work – sit to eat lunch – repeat the commute home – chill sitting on the couch after a long day of……you guessed it…..sitting. That totals 12-15 hours of sitting daily! Combine this with lying down to sleep (6-8hrs) and total sedentary time increases to approximately 20 hours a day! ***MIND BLOWN***
Why Do I Feel Pain When Sitting Down
An alteration in muscle balance and postural loading when combined means the lower back (lumbar spine) is taking excessive load, while the glutes and core get “lazy”! Poor sitting posture can also increase the strain on spinal discs due to prolonged passive flexion (bending) of the lumbar spine. Similarly, rounding through the shoulders and protrusion of the neck can cause cervical (neck) and thoracic (mid-back) pain and stiffness. All those 9-5 workers…..does this sound like you?
Prevention of Pain when Sitting
- Be conscious of your posture
- Seek out ergonomic advice to optimise your work space (e.g. a standing desk, ergonomic chair, correct screen and keyboard set up)
- Break up prolonged periods of sitting with bouts of activity
Movement can Help!
This small circuit can help with preventing or reducing low back pain, most of the exercises you can find on our Trained Physio instagram page – @trained_physioperth
This works to activate the gluteals, core and lumbar stabilisers, to share the load through all three and will help you achieve and maintain good posture.
Side lying clams x 15-20 each side
Front plank x 30 seconds
Side plank x 15 seconds
Bird dog or plank shoulder taps x 10
Glute bridge x 10
East Perth Trained Physio Can Help
Our East Perth Trained Physio’s can provide a thorough assessment of your current and previous training, taking into account all lifestyle factors that may be adding to your injury or pain state. A full body and movement assessment will identify any weakness, imbalances or loading issues and can provide you with movement retraining and strength and conditioning programming and load management advice to keep you training and prevent or resolve any current pain or injuries.
East Perth Trained Physio
Did you know at Trained Physio we have a fully equipped rehabilitation facility? Check out the details here. Physiotherapy has several goals including promote healing, reduce pain, avoiding aggravation, optimising physical function and global strengthening to restore normal movement patterns. To see how I can help you BOOK ONLINE TODAY
Written by: Olivia Strelein
BSc. Physiotherapy (Honours)
BSc. Exercise and Sport Science