Over the past few years, scientists have linked prolonged sitting to overall degenerative health. Spending eight or more hours a day in the seated position can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and early death.
Sitting for hours on end can also negatively impact your muscles and ligaments, which may induce chronic aches and pains. When your body is seated or slouched for an extended period of time, things start to lock up. Your tissues start to degenerate because they are no longer required to move. This can lead to hip, back, shoulder, and neck problems.
This is why movement is so important. In order to keep your muscles loose and lower your risk of disease, you have to do what your body was intended to do — move.
While your job may require you to be at a desk all day, there are a few options to lessen your seated time and keep your body mobile.
Active Sitting Moves
Getting up for breaks is the easiest way to decrease sitting time, but there are more options to further increase your mobility and add movement to your day.
Staying seated all day can stiffen you feet. Your ankles and calves can also become a problem if left immobile for too long. One way to combat stiff feet and ankles is to roll your feet. A foot massager or frozen water bottle will work perfectly for this exercise. Take your shoes off, and either seated or standing, depending on your comfort, press down on the massager or bottle and roll it back and forth over the arch of your foot. The pressure looses up the tissue and increases circulation throughout the lower leg. This exercise is also helps to prevent plantar fasciitis.
This exercise can be done during one of your breaks. Press your shoulder blades and lower back against the wall while bending your knees at a 90-degree angle. Hold this position for as long as you can, for up to a minute. Repeat three times. There is no need to do a high number of repetitions because this exercise is not about fitness gains, it’s about preventing muscle degeneration and increasing circulation during the day.
While this one may be difficult in business attire, it’s important to keep hip flexors loose. Tight hips from constant sitting can lead to back pain and poor posture. Start standing and step with your left leg forward into a 90-degree lunge and allow your right knee to hover above the ground behind you. Hold this position for about 30 seconds and then switch legs. If possible, try to do incorporate these quick lunges into your day three or four times.
Extended sitting often leads to a collapsed body. The shoulders hunch forward and the neck juts out and forward. To combat this, move to the edge of your chair and sit on your tailbone. Keeping your arms at your sides, open your chest and roll your shoulders back and down. At the same time, rotate your feet outwards to widen your hips. Hold this position for ten seconds, then relax and repeat ten times.
This exercises helps promote correct seated posture. Stand and place your hands on your lower back to prevent overextension. Next, gently lean back as far as you comfortably can. Repeat this ten times once or twice a day. It will strengthen your back and core muscles to help decrease the dreaded slouch.
Airrosti Treats Pain
Improper seated position can lead to hip pain, back pain or upper cross syndrome. At Airrosti, our providers do a complete injury assessment to pinpoint the underlying cause of the pain. Next, they develop a custom treatment plan to quickly relieve the source of the pain using myofascial release.
After treatment, our providers also equip patients with exercises and tools to speed recovery at home. These tools and exercises not only speed recovery, but they also help prevent future pain.
At Airrosti, we aim to education our patients and permanently relieve their pain so they can go on about their active lifestyles. If you’ve been bothered by pain due to constant sitting, contact Airrosti today to find a provider near you.
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