You Are Sitting Too Much. Here’s What You Can Do…
In recent years, research has shown that excessive sitting can cause a host of health problems, from both a musculoskeletal and cardiovascular perspective. From the musculoskeletal standpoint, sitting can promote both tight and shortened anterior hip musculature, tight Iliotibial Bands, weakened scapular stabilizers – which can promote forward-rolled shoulders – and changes to the cervical spine. Of greater concern is that excessive sitting and related de-conditioning can cause “gluteal amnesia”, a term Exercise Physiologist Stuart McGill coined to describe atrophied and weak gluteus maximus and medius. At the very basic level, the hip complex and hip extensors (glute max and med) provide most of your lower body power production and mobility, stability for your torso, and strength for most functional activities. So, weak glutes and tight hips are indeed a bad combination.
Most people sit for work and commuting. This is essential to modern life. Leisure time, however, need not be consumed by sitting (binge watching NetFlix, swiping through our iPhones, etc.)
Given the facts above, here are four simple changes that will make an impact:
- Make sure non-essential work time is spent moving – whether this be standing, walking, stretching, working out, etc.
- Dictate emails and texts while walking your dog.
- Dictate notes to yourself while walking outside. An added bonus: being in nature has also been shown to enhance the creative process.
- Use your lunch break, whether this is 10 minutes or 60 minutes, for a walk, run, stretch or nap. Do anything, but do not continue to sit.
If you sit at a desk all day, do these five movements (3 x :30 sec daily):
- High Lunge with Reach
- Half Kneeling Quad Stretch – (See Below)
- Standing Anterior Shoulder Stretch
- Single Leg Hamstring Stretch
- Downward Dog – Plank – Upward Dog Yoga Series