sittingIn an article from the IDEA website, on sitting, they talk about the health risks associated with sitting too much.  Are you guilty of sitting for long periods of time throughout the day whether it is because your job is very sedentary or because you just choose to spend most of the time being inactive? Well I am sure we have all heard that sitting down for a long amount of time without much movement at all starts to make us become lazy and add on some pounds, but beyond that, maybe you are unaware of how bad sitting can really be.

Along with long periods of sitting and inactivity comes organ damage due to decreased blood flow and the increase of fatty acids in the blood. You start to experience neck and back issues due to the excessive forward head posture from leaning over a desk or a computer keyboard all day, and also a hardening of the collagen in the spine, which causes damage to the intervertebral disks and limitations of spinal flexibility.  When sitting down a lot, the psoas (main hip flexor muscles) is in a shortened position, which is why most of us have really tight hip flexors. With the posas pulling the hip bones closer towards the thighs, we start to experience an arch in the lower back causing further compression of the lumbar spine. Our legs are completely neglected while sitting down, so there is minimal blood flow circulating to the lower body and bones start to become more brittle due to the lack of weight bearing activity or movement with our legs.

Some of us have no choice but to stay seated all day long because of the type of occupation we may have. Well lucky for you, I am going to provide you with a few solutions to that problem. For starters, switch out your chair with a large stability ball. This will allow you to have to engage the core musculature while being seated because you have no back rest to depend on, and without any core activation you are going to fall off the ball onto the floor.  After a long day of sitting, take a few minutes out of your day to stretch out the hip flexors. If you are a couch potato and completely unwilling to give up your relationship with the television, use the commercial breaks as your time to walk around the house or even walk in place. During your long desk job, stand up and take brief walk around the office, every thirty minutes. Maybe even try some cat and cow poses that are infamous in yoga.  Now you have no excuses to make, so get up and get moving!


-Leiana Swanson

NASM, Certified Personal Trainer

Kinesiology Student, CSULB