by Liz Vermeer, PT, DPT
Sitting is something we do every day. Sometimes jobs require us to commute to and from work or sit looking at a computer screen many hours per day. We sit while watching television or watching kids do extracurricular activities. While sitting is a necessary part of our day, sitting for too long can cause many musculoskeletal problems including neck and shoulder pain, low back pain and hip pain. Often this happens because prolonged time in any position will make some muscles short and tight and other muscles weak and stretched out.
5 Tips to Relieve Body Stress with Sitting
Make sure to get up and move at least every hour. Movement helps bring blood flow to the muscles and joints helping both your cardiovascular system and the musculoskeletal system. The best way to improve strain and stress from prolonged positions is movement. Set a timer for every hour. Get up and get a drink of water. Go to the bathroom. Go look out the window. You get the idea!
Sitting tends to cause our shoulders to round forward and the front of our hips to get tight. It is important to stretch these areas the opposite direction to undo the stress from sitting.
Thoracic stretch over the edge of the chair
Hip flexor stretch in the lunge position (Stretch should be felt in the front of the back leg)
While stretching is very important to keep us mobile, doing some strength exercises are also very important as muscles like our upper back muscles and our gluteal muscles get stretched out and are harder to get to work correctly. Strengthening can be very beneficial to improving body aches due to sitting.
Hip Bridge for glut activation
Shoulder Blade Squeeze Down and Back for Upright Posture
4) Be aware of your sitting position
Sitting position can have a huge effect on how your body feels and moves after sitting for long periods of time. Often, we end up rounding our shoulders forward and letting our low back curve into the chair. Having a chair at work or at home that supports the body into upright posture can be very helpful to decrease the strain of sitting for long periods.
If you try out these tips and find that you continue to have stiffness or pain from sitting that you would like to improve, the movement specialists at Kinetic Edge are happy to help! Call 866-588-0230 or request an appointment or a free screen today.