The Digital Age has furnished us with an endless array of new jobs related to computers and the internet. However, with more and more people spending their days hunched in front of a screen, our increasingly sedentary culture has more need than ever to deal with health issues related to sitting.
When an inordinate amount of time is spent with the knees and hips bent, the hamstring can find itself slowly but surely shortened. Many people, in response to sitting all day, will try to engage in athletic activities like running and biking. However these can further tighten the hamstring.
This tightness can lead to the pelvis being pulled backward. This hurts posture, can cause stress on the back muscles, and in general increases the chance of injury to the lower back.
Furthermore, Lara Heimann, a physical therapist, believes that this is actually toxic.
“Sitting catalyzes congestion in the muscles and other connective tissue, and in the vascular and lymph systems,” says Heimann. With our blood and immune systems flowing more stagnantly, the body is less able to take care of itself and will find itself harboring more physical and emotional stress. As a physical therapist, Heimann claims that she finds her clients suffering in congested areas related to sitting on a regular basis and that this can lead to pain, achiness, tiredness, and anger.
For some, the solution is simple. Spend more time out of the chair. Many workplaces have begun offering desks that can be converted to allow for standing. Others implement employee fitness regimens built around getting deskbound workers moving more often.
However, for some, there simply is not a way to escape the desk. For them stretching may be a more viable option. By engaging in stretches that work the core, back, and thigh muscles, congestion can be relieved allowing workers to stay healthier and have more energy throughout the day.