Technology has developed incredible ways to make things quick, convenient, and comfortable. Comfort at home, comfort in the car, and comfort at work. Most of which involves sitting. Sitting is one of the biggest factors that creates postural problems. When you think about the things we work on, they are pretty much right in front of us. They involve little if any movement, and the movements they do demand are often repetitive and can lead to overuse injuries.
Sitting puts the hip in a position where the muscles in the front are shortened and become tight, while the larger muscles in the back of the hip are lengthened and become weak. As this pattern develops over hours and hours of sitting, when we finally do stand up, those tight muscles pull down on the front of the pelvis and the weakness in the back is unable to keep the pelvis in its normal position. This creates a chain reaction of potentially harmful conditions from head to toe.
When you add things like computers, soft comfy furniture, mobile devices and smart TVs with voice activated controls, well let’s just say we have an uphill battle keeping our bodies in good positions. And ultimately when our bad positions are outweighing our good positions we end up moving in the wrong direction and our bodies begin to break down.
So, where do we go from here?
We need to know the difference between a good position and a bad position. From there we need to maintain a level of fitness that is above the daily demand we place on our body. Think of professional football player. Have you been amazed at the bone crushing hits that would put you or me in the hospital, or realistically in the morgue and they hop up and jog back over to the huddle. How the hell do they do that? They train on proper mechanics and body position, and that helps, but when the nature of their sport forces them into bad positions, it’s their elite level fitness that protects them from injury. The good news for most all of us is that we are not professional football player and the demands we place on our bodies are far less, but the basic concept holds true. If your fitness level and knowledge of good position and body mechanics does not meet the demand you are heading in the wrong direction. Most of us have been there where we know we need to change, but we don’t know exactly what to do. A physical therapist is the perfect medical professional who can help. If you don’t have one, get one. Get screened and get moving. Moving in the right direction. I can guarantee you that it is not as hard as you might imagine. Especially if you get started before the more permanent damage is done. The following are some tips on good sitting positions and strategies to minimize the side effects of prolonged sitting:
- Do the 9090 rule sitting posture with lumbar support
- Abdominal drawing in, sternal lift and chin tuck
- Up every 20 min
- Iliopsoas stretch in half kneeling
Posture up to prevent, that’s the name of the game. Schedule a free assessment if you have questions and wonder what is proper posture for you. We are here to prevent pain, injury, and suffering!