Common Versus Normal

Just because something is commonly done doesn’t mean that it is normal.

Consider how much time is spent for work and socializing that requires people to sit.  Although this is a common thing to do, when done repetitively, it is not normal.  The body starts to negatively adapt to the seated position which causes certain muscles to lengthen and others to shorten.  As musculature adapts to a chronic situation there is pressure put on the other tissues of the body; tendons, ligaments and even bone.  The more frequent and longer the intervals of sitting are the more negative impact it will have on your body.

So if sitting is common but not normal, what is normal?  The anatomical position of a standing position or laying flat on you back is the most “normal” position but even more than that the body was designed to move and if it doesn’t move, even when in the anatomically correct position it will break down.  When the body breaks down you start to have symptoms such as muscle tension in the shoulders, low back or neck.  Problems may also extend to other issues like chronic headaches or fatigue.  These symptoms indicate that the body is under stress and something needs to be addressed.

There are very simple ways to ensure that a chronic repetitive posture will not have such a negative impact on your muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones.  The simple solution is movement.  Get up out of your chair every 15 minutes.  Simply standing to break up the routine of sitting gets muscles moving that are chronically tight when in the seated position.  This can stimulate blood flow to all parts of the body.  It can help increase mental acuity and decrease fatigue as a result of the increased blood flow.  To be more specific about the type of movement, think of your body in the seated position and just mirror that position.  So, if your shoulders round forward, your back rounds forward, your head shifts forward and you bend at the waist and knee then you should do the exact opposite; stand while extending your back over your hips, open and lift your chest to the sky while extending your arms out to the sides and look up to the sky.  This simple stretch done frequently to break up your professional and social sitting obligations can help make you feel great and even help you look better.  Let’s get up and move!

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