Do you sit most of the day? Between eating, commuting, working, watching your kids play sports and lounging in front of the TV, sitting all day can wreak havoc on our bodies.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns: obesity and a cluster of other conditions like increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels…just to name a few.
Some studies have even shown that those who spend the majority of their day planted on their keister live, on average, two years less than those who stand for most of their day.
“Sitting is the New Smoking” Stand Up For Your Health
You’ve probably experienced that moment when you get up from sitting and your hips feel so tight you can’t stand up straight, your butt feels numb and you have to lean forward like you just got off a horse just to walk a few steps.
It’s no surprise that excessive sitting results in tight hips and inactive glutes which not only hamper daily movements, but also performance. As an athlete, if you want to perform your best, it’s important to ensure your hips stay limber and your glute muscles are ready to fire on all cylinders when you need them to.
Even if you’re not interested in snatching (though I hope you change your mind on that someday), keeping your hips in a healthy range of motion can help to prevent injury in your day to day activities. So, whether you’re a weekend warrior, do CrossFit on the regular or love Olympic Lifting, taking care of your hips, IT band and glutes can help you improve posture, prevent back pain and give you the mobility to show off some mean moves on the dance floor.
Undoing the Damage of Sitting All Day with Mobility WOD
Prevention is going to be your best remedy. Simply put: Sit less. Move more.
- If you’re able, consider using a standing desk at work.
- If that’s not an option, try taking 5-minute breaks from the sitting position every 30-45 minutes.
- Set a timer to remind you to get up and walk around a bit.
- Or just drink a lot of water so your body naturally reminds you to get up to use the restroom.
- Then, incorporate a few of these exercises throughout your day to open up those hips that are chronically being shortened from sitting. Try just 4 minutes a day and feel the benefits!
If you’ve done yoga, you’re familiar with the pigeon pose. Try this stretch with the front leg propped up on a table which makes it easier to perform in your office.
Most of you know this stretch is extremely humbling. You don’t necessarily need a couch for this stretch – simply place the knee of the leg you’re going to stretch against the back of your couch or wall and put the other foot on the floor. Raise your torso upright to a neutral spine position. Squeeze your abdominals and glutes while you’re there to really feel the stretch in your hip flexor area.
Kelly Starrett from MWOD, who, by the way is giving our Foundation Nutrition & lifestyle challenge winners a 6-month subscription, shows us more quick mobility drills he recommends for prolonged periods of sitting.
Listen to your body. If you’re really tight, you might need to ease up on the stretch or hang out a little longer to let your body relax into it. As physical therapist Kelly Starrett says,
“Don’t go into the pain cave. Your animal totem won’t be there to help you.”
More Health Related Blogs
- Changing Habits
- Overcoming Procrastination: Just Do the Dishes Already
- How Much Should I Eat? How to Start Listening To Your Body
- Set Real Expectations
- Taking Time for Yourself: Why It’s SO Important
- Dealing with Setbacks
- Top 3 Healthy Party Tips
- How Much Should I Eat? Portion Guidelines Explained