Sitting? The Worst Thing Anyone Can Ever Do?
It is not shocking to learn that being seated for long periods isn’t good for you. In fact traditional seated posture can increase compression in your lower back by around 60%. Compression is natural much like decompression of a joint is also, but long consistent periods of any position or repetitive movement will cause problems of some description.
The Body Needs to Experience Variety
Variability is key; therefore giving your nervous system multiple options in which to accomplish any movement based task will serve you well in combatting pain and discomfort. If you’re in pain you will tend to achieve patterns of movement in much the same way no matter what.
So whilst you being seated in one position for extensive periods of time is not good, it is not the seated position itself that is the problem it is the lack of variability your body experiences whilst staying in one place.
Contrary to popular opinion sitting bolt upright and puffing the chest out is not ‘good posture’. It will likely result in more compression in the facet joints of the spine. This type of compression is also promoted when sitting on an exercise ball, something else often suggested as a good seated practice. On the other hand slouching too much creates more compression in the discs. Neither movement should be feared as your body should experience them both naturally, but the spine shouldn’t remain in any static position for a prolonged length of time.
Is There A ‘Good’ Way To Sit?
Not for long periods, however there are things that can be done to reduce lower back compression so you can sit for longer periods with fewer consequences. For instance try to distribute an even amount of weight between each bum cheek with the tail bone (coccyx) central. A technique that I have found useful and many clients have also is called ‘stretch sitting’ demonstrated in the following video link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9CDhcVTAdc
Breaking up the continuous periods of sitting is beneficial. You’re better off sitting for 4 hours in one day with breaks every 30 minutes than you are sitting for 3 hours straight. In order to break up the cycle you don’t need to be doing 10 minutes of exercise. Just standing up to go get a tea or coffee or simply taking a few steps is enough to benefit in the long term.
Should you have any questions about seated posture or any other mechanical issue you may be facing please get in touch.
Call – 07745 039 485
Email – Ben@BenFedrickInjuryTherapy.co.uk