Muscle imbalances are becoming all too common in office workers
For people trying to lose weight, people know that when you sit down too long it’s not good for your metabolism even if you are working out three days per week. To combat this, it’s a good idea to get up for a walk or a flight of stairs at least one per hour. Today we are going to be focusing more on the muscle imbalances caused by sitting too much.
Take note of your posture. If you are hunched over on your phone or computer screen, I am talking to you!
When you became aware of your posture, did you noticed your rolled-forward shoulders and forward lean?
More of us are working on computers than ever before. That trend will likely to continue. Technology has not only changed the way we work; it’s changed the way we do EVERYTHING, including how we carry ourselves.
Our bodies were not designed to be hunched over at a desk. This new way of working has led us to muscle imbalances which are becoming more prevalent than ever before. But if you think that back pain and a stiff neck are the only problems caused by poor posture, think again! Here a few lower-body issues that crop up and what you can do about them!
Problem: Tight Piriformis
Responsible for rotating the hips, the piriformis is a muscle deep beneath the glutes. This can get tight from too much sitting, especially slumping with poor posture. The critical location of this muscle means that it’s tightness can lead to knee problems and a painful syndrome known as sciatica, a symptom of which can be an intense pain down the backside of the leg.
Cure: Stretch the piriformis on a regular basis.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is the figure four stretch. Lying flat on your back bring your knee up into your stomach. Grab one ankle with the opposite hand, and let your knee fall toward a 90-degree angle with your body. Feel the gentle stretch in your glutes. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.
Problem: Tight Adductors
Sitting with crossed legs can lead to extra tension in the adductors. These are the muscles which squeeze your thighs together. Just like the piriformis, tight adductors can also lead to knee pain. Since excess tension can cause the femur to rotate inward, a misalignment of the femur and the knee joint can occur. If your knees tend to point inward, it may be from tightness in these muscles caused by too much sitting down! Now think about if you are running, and all the impact on that – how it can throw your whole body out of whack over time! Even if you don’t feel it right away, the effects will multiply until it becomes a chronic problem.
Cure: Butterfly Stretch
Sitting with your legs extended out in front of you, keep your feet tightly together and bend your knees in toward your body. Let your knees fall outward to either side. You can place gentle pressure to increase the stretch in the groin and hold for 20 to 30 seconds.
Problem: Tight calves
If you spend a good part of your day walking around in high heels, your calves are likely taking a beating. When you put your heels away, you may find that over time, your feet have and you are more at risk of developing plantar fasciitis which ca be very painful when you walk or run.
Cure: Calf stretch
A small board or step is a great aid for your hurting gastrocnemius. Place the front part of your foot on the board so it’s at a sight incline, and lean forward. Let the gentle stretch work its way up from the heel to the back of your knee, then alternate legs.
These are only a few lower body issues that can be caused by office work and too much sitting. We were made to move. Try to get up and walk around as often as you can through the workday. Remember to stretch out the tightness caused by too much sitting and you will keep the body working smooth and efficiently!