Do you ever notice that the longer you sit the more agitated your body gets?
The human body is built to move. It is made up of 360 joints and 700 skeletal muscles which enable easy and fluid motion. The blood in our body depends on us to move around in order to circulate properly, our nerve cells benefit from movement, and our skin is elastic allowing it to mold to our motion. So every inch of our body is ready and waiting for us to move.
We encourage our clients, through the Pilates exercises and fundamentals, to maintain structural and functional integrity in the body to enhance a pain free and mobile lifestyle. Consider these key aspects when you are sitting for long periods of time.
- Our spine is a long structure which is made of bone, cartilage and discs. Joints, muscles and ligaments hold the spine together.
- A common way of sitting is with a curved back and a rounded shoulder posture which puts uneven pressure on the spine.
- As a result there is wear and tear on the spinal discs, the ligaments and joints become overworked, and there is a great deal of strain on the muscles that stretch to accommodate the curved back position.
- The hunched shape of the spine also shrinks the chest cavity in this seated position. Therefore our lungs cannot expand to their full capacity due to the compression of the rib cage. This temporarily limits the amount of oxygen that enters our lungs and filters into our blood.
The very act of sitting squashes, pressurizes and compresses, our muscles, nerves, arteries and veins. These more delicate tissue layers often start to swell and feel numb due to the reduced blood flow. Let’s work together to begin to reduce the negative health impacts sitting for long periods of time can bring. Sitting less often, adding breaks during sedentary time (this can be as simple as getting up from your seat and walking to the water cooler), and by maintaining focus on regular daily activity that positively targets the structural and functional support of our bodies are the best places to start. Pilates is one such program that works with you to rebalance the body, address issues already present, and reduce the risk of injury or imbalances in the future.
At Shelbourne Physiotherapy, Pilates, & Rehab our primary focus is to help you develop, improve, and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Contact our coordinators to discuss increasing or adding Pilates to your routine.
Yours in fitness and health!