Do you have to sit a lot? Flexibility & Function

scholarship_girl-750x500

By: Reed Phinisey

The start of fall quarter brings a lot of different assignments and studying but more importantly it requires you to sit a bunch. Now I know you are thinking, “Oh gosh. One of these sitting is the new smoking guys”.

I’m not here to scare you but rather bring to light some of the harmful effects of sitting and give you some easy to implement strategies that can help in preventing the damage that sitting can wreak on our bodies.

Sitting can bring a multitude of changes. However, I’m going to focus on flexibility. Staying in a static position, such as sitting, results in changes to our length/tension relationship. Length refers to the muscles being shortened and tension refers to the muscles in opposition to the muscles being shortened.

EX: In a seated position the hip flexors are shortened and the result being the hamstring and glutes becoming outstretched.

This length/tension relationship results in the quads becoming dominant and the hamstrings/glutes becoming weak relative to the quads. A proper length/tension relationship is necessary for proper joint mechanics, injury prevention and daily movement. Sitting causes many such disturbances throughout the body. If ignored they can lead to injury of associated tissues and actual changes to our posture long-term. (Google Janda’s Upper/Lower Cross Syndrome)

Sadly modern life requires us to sit during some parts of our day but with some intention and effort we can reduce its long term effects on our flexibility.

Try these (4) Exercises 1-2x a day for 10-12 reps to break up those long study sessions:

  1. Glute Bridge – https://exrx.net/WeightExercises/GluteusMaximus/BWLyingHipExtension

glute bridge

  1. Lying Hip Flexion – https://exrx.net/WeightExercises/HipFlexors/BWSimAltLyingLegRaise

Lying hip

  1. Cat/Cow – https://exrx.net/Stretches/ErectorSpinae/CatMovement

Cat cow

  1. Broomstick Rotations – https://exrx.net/Plyometrics/BroomstickTwist

broomstick

If you have any questions, visit the Fitness and Wellness Office in the Activities and Recreation Center.

 

 

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