It may be an extreme question to ask but can sitting too much really have such a negative effect on the body? Office workers are well attuned to the effects of prolonged desk sitting. They may sometimes suffer from repetitive strain injuries or low back pain associated to incorrect and excessive durations of sitting. In this article we’re going to look at what exactly gets killed by sitting too much and what we can do about it.
The law of use and disuse – how posture adapts to sedentary office roles
We seldom consider the quantity of time that we spend sitting in modern society. Many can spend 50 hours a week at the office and several hours a week commuting. That’s all before telly time on the sofa. Excessive sitting causes changes to occur in our body to adapt to that environment. Underused muscles can weaken and lose their ability to engage. Overused muscles can fatigue, harden and become hypertonic – losing their ability to switch off. A regular deep tissue massage can re-awaken dormant muscles and relax overworked muscles to help counterbalance the negative effects of sitting.
Massage for office posture
Almost all office activity involves the flexing of our body’s anterior musculature. As a result, many people gradually suffer the shrinking effect of poor posture – developing tight hip flexors, chest and shoulder muscles. Prolonged sitting can physically kill your movement by locking up your joints. Remedial massage can focus on opening up your hip and shoulder joints to counter balance the negative effects of poor posture – allowing the lubrication of the musculoskeletal system and ease of movement.
What’s the difference between good posture and poor posture?
So what? Why would you bother with keeping good posture? The answer is gravity. When a body is stacked straight, the skeletal system pivots and balances upon itself then gravity works with the body. If a skeleton is twisted, slumped and sagging gravity works against it. Poor posture levers against the biomechanics of the muscles and bones to pull pressure on the joints. When the joints become pressured, kinks can occur in the blood, lymph and nervous channels. As a result, every bodily function can become more difficult. Meaning that you consume more energy to do life’s ordinary things, leaving you exposed to fatigue.
Massage to increase lung capacity
Sitting with a slumped posture can gradually compress your ribcage and diaphragm enough to suffocate the lungs and weaken your diaphragm. Your diaphragm is pivotal in the supply of oxygen into the lungs and the cells of your body. Specialised massage techniques can stretch the diaphragm and free up the ribcage enabling you to breathe a fuller and freer breath.
Poor posture can kill your mood
Can poor posture effect your mood? It’s difficult to maintain a positive outlook on life when it’s a struggle to breathe with ease or your experiencing muscular aches and pains. Muscular tension caused from posture can restrict supply of fresh blood carrying oxygen and nutrients that are needed to repair and regenerate soft tissues. If fresh blood isn’t getting into soft tissues and lymph isn’t being drained effectively a toxic bathing occurs in the cells and nerve endings of the muscles. Acid in your muscles will probably cause you pain and will limit cellular reproduction. Conditions like this can force the body into survival mode – fight or flight. Stress hormones and chemicals are a factor in the causes of fatigue, mood swings and depression.
While our bodies are designed to move, working at a desk or sitting down is a way of life for many of us. Sitting causes no damage if we take regular exercise breaks, rehydrate and sit with better posture. Even taking a pro-active approach to healthy sitting, it is always helpful to counterbalance the effects of prolonged sitting with exercise and stretching. Over years some people become too tight and fatigued to stretch or exercise to full benefit. Massage can help to get your muscles moving enough so that you can get moving by yourself. If you would like advice on how massage works or how it can help in keeping your body alive and well – please call us on 020 8166 8958 and we’ll be delighted to help.