If you were given the option to choose between working in a hot sweaty warehouse or a cool air-conditioned office, which one would you choose?
The air-conditioned office of course!
Don’t be deceived by the comforts of the office environment because there are a lot of dangers that lurk.
The dangers that I’m referring to are muscle imbalances, postural distortions, and adhesion knots (scars that form in the soft tissue caused by trauma to the tissue), which lead to flexibility problems that opens you up to potential injuries.
Why Is Sitting Down All Day So Bad For Your Body?
Prolonged sitting shortens (tightens) certain muscles and lengthens (weakens) others.
For example, in the seated position the front thighs are in a stretched (lengthened) position and the hamstrings in a contracted (shortened) one.
Other muscles affected by sitting for prolonged periods of time include the muscles in your back, neck, and chest.
Imagine year after year of weakening and shortening all the major muscles in your body.
This creates a “recipe for disaster” and opens you up to potential injury.
The Most Common Injury Caused By Muscle Imbalances
The most common damage caused by muscle imbalances occurs in the lower back and is responsible for a high percentage of on-the-job injuries.
As a matter of fact, I recall working with a guy whom has a permanent limp and walks with a cane.
This poor guy injured his back while reaching inside of his car to get a CD.
How much does a CD weigh?
He’ll remain in this condition for the rest of his life.
The sad part is that at the time, he was only 25 years old.
This life-changing traumatic event may have been totally avoided if only he had incorporated a fitness program that included stretching in his lifestyle.
We are all guilty of bad posture, but most of us don’t realize how over time the damage that’s being done, especially its effects on the muscles that surround the spine.
Think about it, if you sit with your back in a hunched-over position, overtime the muscles that surround the spine will weaken because they will not be accustomed to properly supporting the spine.
As a result of the weakened muscles, any sudden movement can result in a back injury, which could have been the case with my 25 year old co-worker.
Studies have shown a high percentage of people hurt their backs while bending over to tie their shoes.
That’s an amazing but sad statistic!
The third problem that results from prolonged sitting is the formation of Adhesion Knots, which are scars that form in the soft tissue caused by trauma to the tissue.
This scar tissue builds up in the muscle’s soft tissue and limits your ability to move freely.
This opens you up for more potential injury due to those limitations in flexibility.
Limited flexibility is a major contributor of injuries, because if you push a muscle past its capable range of motion, you will hurt yourself (sooner if not later).
Some Good News!
This article points out several of the negative aspects of sitting for prolonged periods of time, but there is some good news.
As I mentioned earlier, these potential injuries are totally preventable by implementing the proper resistance training and flexibility program into your lifestyle.
If you suffer from muscle stiffness and the lack of flexibility, you must immediately incorporate fitness into your everyday life or eventually suffer the faith of a life-altering injury.
My advice is to not procrastinate on incorporating health, fitness, and wellness into your lifestyle, because these are the best tools for preventing those hidden dangers from destroying your quality of life.
If you’re a beginner or deconditioned, start slow and increase your intensity levels over time to reduce the risk of getting injured.
I hope this helps.