How many hours do you spend sitting during the day? Think about the amount of time you spend sitting – that includes the toilet, at the dinner table, in your car, at your desk, or simply lounging on the couch watching television.
As a society, we love to count things: calories, steps taken during the day, hours trained, and miles run. But everyone forgets to manage the amount of time they spend sitting in the chair.
Poor posture and tight hips seem to be a common theme that I see daily. Both of these issues can be linked to sitting at a desk with internally rotated shoulders for hours on end. The enhancement of technology and the growth of social media also has people texting and typing with their heads forward and, as a result, the musculature in the front of the body gets tight and shortened while the musculature in the back of the body gets weak and lengthened.
Excess sitting has been connected with a huge number of health problems. Sitting for long periods of time and not standing or moving tends to cause changes physiologically within your muscles. It has been linked with high blood pressure, obesity, bad cholesterol, and too much belly fat. Sitting for long periods of time can lead to less fat being burned which later causes blood to flow more sluggishly. This poor circulation can increase the risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, and many other things.
Break up sitting time by getting up every so often and moving around. This will enhance circulation and lengthen the muscle tissues.Even if you exercise for an hour a day, it still will not reverse the eight hours of sitting that you have done. Try some of the suggestions below to combat our sitting habits:
- Keep track of the amount of time you sit each day and make sure you balance out that time with not just exercising, but stretching with movements like the couch stretch seen here, or the perfect stretch seen here. Both of those exercises are tremendously beneficial when trying to loosen up tight hips and open up your joints.
- Grab a foam roller and roll out your upper back to loosen the fascia between the shoulder blades and the spine.
- Avoid sitting completely by using a standing desk. Check out this video by one of my favorites, Mark Sisson, showing you some of the ways he has changed the work space of his office which has enhanced the productivity, safety, and longevity of his employees.
By incorporating easy mobility into your day and getting up often, you will not only move more efficiently during workouts, but you will start to lengthen the tight tissues and hips that have occurred as a result of years of sitting.
Doheny, Kathleen “Sitting Your Life Away?”
Starret, Kelly “Sitting is the New Smoking”
Sisson, Mark “The Primal BluePrint”
Committed to Your Success,
Jennifer & The Forte Fitness Team