Did you know? Prolonged sitting is the new smoking!
Last month I briefly touched on the common belief that when a muscle is “tight” we need to stretch it; however, this is not always the case. As a practitioner I often get asked “do my shoulders feel tight? Do my glutes (buttock) and/or hamstrings feel tight?” - in most cases, my response is ‘No’….But why is this the case?
- The muscle is lengthened (taught) resulting in weakness because its opposing muscle group is tight (see diagram below).
- Ache, fatigue or discomfort can be perceived as tightness (when in fact the patient has full range of motion).
- And yes, in some cases the muscle/s is tight which can result in restriction of movement.
- Society has transitioned from active movers to sedentary sitters.
- We have become technology bound (computer, smart phones, ipads etc).
- Compromised postures
- Muscular imbalances
- Altered / restricted movement patterns.
- Increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses
These bodily changes happen gradually and most of us are unaware of it. As a result, the risk of injury with exercise is now heightened. You may think you were doing the right thing but you may not have been doing it in the right order! I will discuss injury minimisation in next month’s newsletter, but for now:
- Move often – any prolonged posture is a bad posture
- Postural awareness - be aware of slumped shoulders & slouching in your chair
- Strength trainingStrengthening the posterior chain muscles (upper and lower back, glutes and hamstring muscles) is very important to help maintain good posture.
Move well, Feel well, Perform well!
Yours in health and wellness,
Dr. Ali Abdo