Is sitting down all day causing you pain?
Have you ever noticed that you can ignore all the safety advice on posture guidance regards manual handling and sitting safely at the desk – until you cant ignore the pain in your shoulder, neck, back or wrists anymore?
Most of our clients never cared for manual handling or office safety until they realised their pain and posture limitations were all linked to the way they carry the posture whether sitting down or picking up their kids.
Our bodies need strength, stability and mobility to function and hold our posture, otherwise our bodies fall apart leading to poor movement patterns, reduced mobility and increased pain
The Problem is, the pain only comes when we’re moving so it seems it’s actually the movement that causes the pain…right… wrong.
Here’s what most people’s day looks like.
We get up and sit down eating breakfast (if we have time) then we drive (sat down) to work where we sit down at the desk and work on the computer and phone half way through the day we have lunch where we’re sat down to eat, drive home and then prepare dinner before sitting down to eat and watch TV to wind down.
Throughout the day it’s safe to say most people are sat down for roughly 8 – 10 hours at least.
Imagine what that’s doing to your body, you’re bent as the knee, hips are shortened due to the bend at the hips and most people’s hips are tucked forward underneath, on top of that it’s more than likely your shoulders are rounded over as you type away.
This creates tight and short muscles and tendons around the back of the thighs, the front of the hips and places high pressure on the lower back and those rounded shoulders are causes all kinds of shoulder problems.
The facts are…
We don’t move well.
This is possibly the most obvious, yet our body can withstand plenty of abuse over time this will take its toll. Moving well comes down to using the body (it’s muscles and joints) at its optimum. Yet we tend to move in the laziest and often more demanding (on the body) way to do things – most often because it will shave off a few milliseconds of time.
2. We are not moving enough.
Possibly a good thing considering the first point, yet as we mentioned earlier our days are spent sat down for far too long. this takes it’s toll and changes our posture and muscular patterns – leading to tightness along side weak muscles.
3. We are not performance basic maintenance & mobility on our bodies.
We may even move around and exercise regularly but it’s all pounding the body and we don’t take the time to move around, de-stress and relax our body to release tension in tight muscles and allow our bodies to move freely.
But that’s the bad news.
All 3 of these factors can be placed into one principle. Moving more and well with exercises that promote strong posture, increases range of movement to optimal, reduces pain and creates improved overall movement patterns.
The Good News is… Our Bodies are incredibly versatile.
One of the reasons this causes problems for our movement is also our greatest weapon. Our body will move, and adjust to the demands we place upon it. Therefore it’s pretty easy to reverse any/all of these issues.
We just need consistency.
Our bodies weren’t tight and in pain the 1st time we sat or moved incorrectly, so it wont be fixed by doing some mobility work once. A small amount of exercise and mobility done consistent and regularly will help you move pain free in a relatively short time.
All you need to do is spend 5 minutes performing some simple mobility exercises on a daily basis.This 5 minutes spent whilst the adverts are on, or adding it into your morning routine will enhance your life.
These exercises can be found here…
I get it, 5 minutes is enough time to forget all about it. You’ll probably only remember to do these exercises when there’s pain stopping you doing something, yet the moment you stop feeling it, you’re posture, your movement will all revert back to it’s previous habits. Therefore setting these exercises into your morning and night time routine.
Here’s a few exercises and movements you could fit into a 5 minute routine to relieve your back pain
Each day we place “environmental loads” onto our bodies, whether that’s running with incorrect technique (do you know anyone who runs that’s had coaching on the running technique?), or whether it’s due to the physical demands of our jobs.
What most people don’t realise is that sitting down could be one of the worst physical demands for our bodies.
It’s likely that we spend 8 hours or more sitting each day, whether that’s whilst eating, driving, working or relaxing in front of the TV.
Sitting for long periods (6 hours or more) can cause serious mechanical issues for our joints. Simply put, we aren’t designed to sit down for long periods of time. Our posture begins to falter and our joints begin to pinch, tighten and become weak and tight altogether leading to mechanical joint problems and issues we need to work around to carry out our day to day activities.
Sitting can lead to multiple issues with our joints
- Tight Hips – Sciatica
- Low Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Frozen Shoulder
- Shoulder Restrictions
- Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
Correcting these issues in the gym can be short term because the other 23 hours a day are working against what we’re doing in the gym, think of it as 1 step forwards and 3 steps (or 23 steps) backwards.
Even elite level athletes suffer, athletes can spend 3 – 4 hours training and going through tactical challenges on field but they can also spend 12 hours or more sat down playing video games, at school and other activities.
Our bodies are able to handle all kinds of abuse, but it also has it’s limits and daily repetitive habits will eventually take it’s toll. It’s often slow and unnoticed similar to adding those extra few lbs creeping on over the years.
Our bodies adapt to the environment we place it in whether that’s stressful, or stress-free our bodies will find a way to adapt and survive. If we spend most of our days in certain positions our body will adapt . So if we’re sat with rounded upper backs and tucked hips our joints will adapt and our muscles & tendons will adjust to our demands becoming shorter & tighter, opposite to longer and weaker muscles.
You might ask yourself “when do these bad habits start to take effect and, when do our bodies start to adjust?”
We’ve seen this in children as little as 9 years old – Think about when children start at primary school our children start to spend more and more time seated than playing, running etc. This is a striking similarity to when children start to use poor movement mechanics.
Why don’t we notice these changes?
If sitting with a C-shaped spine or heal striking whilst running was immediately painful we would immediately stop and avoid it in future. Yet like those few lbs of fat that have crept on we barely notice these changes until it’s too late or glaringly obvious to us that something is wrong. By that time our body has adapted to our mechanics and weaknesses have occurred.
What can you do?
The following system is designed to provide all the help you need.
If you we could rely on our 3 or 4 gym training sessions each week to get our posture fixed and sort all our issues out it would be great.
Unfortunately this is not the case, as mentioned previously elite level athletes suffer with these problems too so the gym is not enough. We need to start thinking of how we spend the other 23 hours of our day.
Imagine someone who drinks alcohol every day but can manage a run each morning, you wouldn’t consider them healthy or fit, yet we think we can out train our bad habits. Which is not to say that working out won’t help, it will certainly help strengthen our weaknesses and get us healthier, but it’s not enough on it’s own.
We need to consider our daily habits and posture when we’re seated to allow us to be pain free and move freely. Here are some of the things we can we do to help improve our movement;
- Stand More – Getting a standing desk (at least ask your H.R. or Occupational Health team before you rebuff the idea) will help improve the amount of calories you burn as well as activating your muscles in positive ways that will result in reduced your pain.
- Ensure your work space is optimised for your posture and performance needs. Click here for guidance on how to set up your work space.
- Spend 5 to 15 Minutes Mobilising Each Day – Too many people work out hard in the gym but will neglect to spend 5 – 10 minutes on mobilising and lengthening their joints and tendons. Here’s a Youtube video to mobilise your shoulders.
- Just move more! Set a reminder for every 30 to 60 minutes (set the timer on your phone to vibrate) and take a walk (you’re due a brew anyway) or stand for just 2 minutes to help your body.
Simply standing throughout the day will not only allow you to reduce aches and pains, but also improve your mechanics, whilst you also burn plenty more calories by increasing your daily activity level. Therefore standing will also provide some assistance in avoiding weight gain for those who take on board the advice here. Using a standing desk can allow you to burn up to 1000 calories MORE than sitting, when you consider that we should aim for a 500 calorie deficit per day when wanting to lose weight, simply standing up more during the day will burn enough calories to successfully lose a significant amount of weight.
Why we do a strength and conditioning protocol at our fitness facility for our clients – especially for our weight loss clients.
At Next Level Performance, we do strength sessions twice a week and conditioning sessions twice a week too. So it’s a broad range as well as a full range of fitness volume. Our goal is we want people to firstly move well so we can prevent injury.
We use the fitness and conditioning because we want people to be fitter and healthier. Both aspects work together because we’re working different energy fields when it comes to both strength and overall fitness. Not only is this great for your overall health, it’s going to benefit your weight loss goals too.
We do this so you can achieve the best results with your health and fitness by maximising what you’re doing in our sessions. See, we’re not just a one dimensional gym. We are completely 4 dimensional. We take all our clients through mobility drills that work alongside the strength and conditioning. Add recovery to that and you’ve got yourself one well rounded program that will give you the best results.
Most commercial gyms (I believe) are one dimensional. The classes are basically exercise to music along with the typical body toning groups.
We are totally different.
We’ve got a full range of dimensions we work towards so we can help you improve not only your results, not only your weight loss but also your posture, movement patterns and above all, keep you injury free.
We help you to work and move pain free.
Lot’s of people come and see us because they’ve got injuries or pain in certain joints or certain places in their body. We help people by making sure they remain pain free so they can fully enjoy their lifestyle.
What does no pain mean to you?
No pain means no restrictions on yourself or your movement so you can do more of the things you love
We help you to reduce your pain so you’re able to train consistently to achieve your goals. Becuase without consistent activity and training, you’re not going to be able to reach your goals and dreams.
Not only do we make our training fun (which any training should be), we have such a great community of people to keep you motivated, wanting to come back and stay consistent working towards your goals. This is the best way we’ve found to give our clients maximum results.
Not only do we want you to come to the gym and do the sessions, we want you to be able to do all the things you love in life – pain free.
Whether it’s walking, picking your kids up, going for a jog or going cycling. It doesn’t matter what it is. If you’ve got injuries or pain, they’re going to hold you back from maximum enjoyment.
If you’d like any questions on what we do specifically, whether it’s about technique sessions and how we coach our clients, nutrition or personal training programmes, please reach out and feel free to message me. You can leave a comment below this post or message me direct on facebook.
Have a great day,