Chairs Kill Your Ass, Your Psoas and Your Soul

Yes, I know chairs are inanimate objects. You can’t blame them. Wrong! It’s all in how you sit. Wrong! Even perfect sitting is still sitting. I’m gonna blame them. Your body is designed for regular movement, but most people spend the better part of their day sitting still instead. The average US adult spends nine to 10 hours each day sitting. Damn! Your ass is gonna fall fast asleep.

The body isn’t designed for sitting in an implosion pattern. The easier life gets the more we sit. Doing 9-10 hours of any activity (even sex) will wear you down. Although it would be nice to prove the sex theory. I’m up for the challenge.

My friend Katy Bowman, and frequent guest on the Stop Chasing Pain podcast (Click here for all SCP Episodes) says,

“Actively sedentary is a new category of people who are fit for one hour but sitting around the rest of the day… You can’t offset 10 hours of stillness with one hour of exercise.”

So let’s look at a few things…

  1. Your body’s ability to respond to insulin is affected by just one day of too much sitting. Your pancreas takes a beating and your hormone levels are in chaos. You are more prone to insulin surges and weight gain. Sitting makes you fat. Not just the fat you see. As soon as you sit down, the electrical activity in your muscles slows down and your calorie burning ability drops to one calorie a minute. About a third of what it does if you’re walking.
  2. Your brain thrives on movement. Your brain function slows when your body is sedentary for too long. It get less fresh blood and oxygen. Brain fog hits when you are low on these guys. You sorta kinda need those 🙂
  3. Your hips lock down. When hips don’t move well (they are supposed to be very mobile) you will take that movement from somewhere else. Usually from the lower back and the knees. If they hurt, check your hips.
  4. Your psoas, that wonderful muscle that sits deep in the body and attaches to your spine and your leg gets tight and weak. Tight and weak means you are vulnerable to injury because you are unstable.
  5. Your ankles don’t move. Why should they move when you don’t use them. When you lose mobility in the ankles you take more from the foot and it flattens. It doesn’t like to be flat. Flat feet lead to excess load in the pelvis. Try flattening your feet while standing and note what happens to your pelvis. It tilts anteriorly.
  6. Sitting causes the pelvis to rotate backward (posterior tilt) The worst kind of tilt and it puts pressure on the lumbar discs. This position forces the head forward and cause the shoulders to curve to compensate for the weight and force transfer.

The list could go on and on.

So what can you do?

Well, not sitting as much is a good start. Stand up and move more. One little trick is to stand up with a slight bend in your knees and rotate from side to side twenty times several times a day. Tapping into the transverse plane will skyrocket your movement patterning. When people get serious about movement they get twisted. Parts talk to each other. That’s a good thing.