How many hours do you sit in a day?
- 1 hour in the morning while you get ready for work
- 30 minutes in the car to work
- 8 hours while you’re at work
- 30 minutes on the drive home
- 1 hour at the table for dinner
- 1 hour the couch while you close out the day
Crazy the you think about it that way, huh?
If this sounds anything like you then I’m going to make the assumption you’re in a little back/neck/hip pain.
Rarely is back pain ever caused by the back itself. Pain in your back is a symptom of poor hip/shoulder mobility and movement patterns. If the muscles in your hip (mainly hamstrings, quadriceps, Gluteus, adductor and flexers) are stiff or inhibited then your lower back is recruited by your brain to pick up the slack.
The number one cause of this is prolonged sitting. Dr. Peter T. Katzmarzyk, lead researchers on a study to determine the effects of prolonged siting and sedentary behavior that was featured in the July 10th, 2012 issue of the Wall Street Journal. He estimates sitting for 3 hours or more a day can decrease your life expectancy by 2 years. Even of you’re physically active, eat well and do not smoke or drink.
By my estimations this is nearly the entire developed world. Myself included. Siting inhibits your glutes, which are the main muscles responsible for extending your hips when you run, walk, stand, lunge, jump, kick etc.. So when you sit on these poor guys all day your body, the clever creature it is starts recruiting other muscles to do the job. Over time this leads to a cascade of postural issues and cause pain when you do just about anything but sit so sitting becomes the dominate position your body feels best in.
Since we know that movement is the number 1 thing we can do to heal and rejuvenate our body it would make since then that the opposite is also true. A sedentary lifestyle will slowly kill us.
The best thing you can do for your hips and back is to be active and move every hour. Give your mind and body a quick reset from your work and hop up, do a set of 20 lunges, walk around the block and stretch your legs every hour or so. A little goes a long a way and can significantly decrease your changes of falling victim to a sedentary death trap.
Try it for a day and see how you feel. I’m willing to bet you’ll feel an improvement after just one time.
Let me know how it goes!