Rumor has it that long hours of sitting can take a toll on your overall health. But what is it about sitting that’s so bad for you? Let’s uncover the facts and give you some quick and easy solutions. The key player in the sitting epidemic is the detriment it has on your posture. Beyond just how you look, stand, and feel – poor posture brings a wealth of negative health symptoms!
Why does sitting ruin your posture?
Sitting at a desk, in a car, or on your couch usually means that your attention is focused somewhere other than your posture. Let’s be honest… how many times have you caught yourself slouching behind your steering wheel, sinking into your computer chair, or craning your neck to look down at your smartphone or other device? And while slouching alone is not the enemy, the extra strain that slouching and sitting puts on your spine, hips and neck is.
Every inch that your head drops forwards adds an extra 10lbs of pressure onto your spine. Your back will work overtime to compensate for this extra weight. We often offset the extra pressure by sinking into our lower back or shifting into an unnatural position. It’s a cycle of poor posture, pain, and overcompensation – further worsening our posture.
Even if you’re not slouching while you sit, your body is still paying the price just from being seated! While seated, your weight is unevenly distributed around your sit bones, lower back, and hips. Not only does this cause the vertebrae in your spine to become squished and compressed, but the uneven weight distribution and lack of movement in your spine will cause the collagen around your ligaments and tendons to harden. This makes your spine less flexible, your hips and glutes tight, and causes imbalance throughout your body.
Why is poor posture bad for your overall health?
Slouched, poor posture compresses the muscles in your ribcage and spine. What does this mean for your internal organs? They pay the price by becoming squished and functioning below their prime. Your lungs will not have as much space to expand, leaving you feeling tired and groggy from the lack of oxygen to your brain. Your digestive organs also become compressed and will not effectively flush out toxins or digest food as efficiently as they are designed to do. All from slouching… can you believe it?
How do I fix it?
The answer is to gently rebalance the body through flexibility and strengthening exercises that will allow you to support the good posture you desire. In every Essentrics workout, you will dynamically strengthen and stretch all the muscles around every joint, thus ungluing your body and, in turn, reversing the negative effects of sitting.
This ensures that:
• Your internal organs can do their job
• Your entire body is given a fresh supply of oxygen
• Your posture looks (and feels) fantastic!
So, get up and get moving !
These 2 short videos below are quick and easy to do as a start or end to your day, at your desk, during a pit stop on your next road trip, or on your lunch break.
Standing Desk Stretch with Miranda Esmonde-White (7min)
Seated Desk Stretch with Miranda Esmonde-White (5min)
Available on Essentrics TV