Sitting for long periods of time is highly prevalent in the corporate workplace due to the nature of the work being done. Unfortunately, this can lead to weaker glute and lower back muscles. When you sit, your glutes are not being used in the same way as when you stand or move around. This can cause them to become weaker over time. This is also known as glute amnesia. It also puts more strain on your lower back muscles, which can lead to pain, discomfort, and a host of other health problems.
Studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time can lead to poor posture and an increased risk of injury. As your glutes become weaker, it causes your hips to roll forward, which puts more strain on your lower back muscles. This can lead to pain in the area as well as other serious back injuries if not addressed. In this article, you’ll find out about some of the common health problems sitting too much can cause, and what you can do to prevent or mitigate them.
- Health Problems Caused by Sitting Too Much
- How to Prevent Back Problems from Sitting too Much
- Final Words
Health Problems Caused by Sitting Too Much
1. Reduced flexibility and range of motion
Sitting for extended periods of time can cause your glute and lower back muscles to become stiff and inflexible. This can lead to tightness in the hips, hamstrings, and other muscle groups, making it difficult to perform even simple movements.
2. Reduced strength and endurance
Sitting can have an impact on the performance of your glute and lower back muscles. They become weak, which reduces their ability to support your body during physical activities. It can lead to fatigue and a decreased ability to perform basic movements, as well as an increased risk of injury.
3. Poor posture
Sitting for extended periods of time can cause poor posture and an increased risk of developing health issues such as back and neck pain. This can be due to the strain that poor posture puts on your glute and lower back muscles, causing them to become weak and strained.
4. Decreased circulation
Sitting too much leads to decreased blood flow and circulation to your glute and lower back muscles, leading to decreased range of motion, stiffness, and soreness. This can lead to an increased risk of injury and decreased performance during physical activities.
5. Impaired balance and coordination
Sitting for too long can lead to impaired balance and coordination, making it difficult to properly perform physical activities. This can be due to the decreased strength in your glute and lower back muscles, which are responsible for maintaining balance and coordination.
6. Increased risk for injury from overuse or strain
It can increase your risk of developing injuries from overuse or strain. This can be due to the decreased strength in your glute and lower back muscles, which are responsible for supporting your body and helping it move.
7. Tightness in the hips or low back area
Sitting for too long can also lead to increased tightness in your hips or low back area. This can be due to the decreased circulation and range of motion caused by sitting for too long, leading to stiffness and soreness in the area.
How to Prevent Back Problems from Sitting too Much
In order to prevent soreness and weakening in the glute and lower back muscles from sitting too much, there are a few steps you can take.
1. Do Specific Exercises That Target the Glutes and Lower Back Muscles:
Do specific exercises that target the glutes and lower back muscles. Try to do these exercises at least three times a week in order to see results.
- Glute Bridge: Lie flat on your back with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Push up through your heels, engaging your glutes until you reach a bridge position. Hold for a few seconds before slowly lowering your hips back to the start position.
- Squats and Lunges: Stand with feet hip-width apart, and engage your core. Bend your knees to lower into a squat position or take a step forward for a lunge. Make sure your knees stay behind your toes and drive back up through your heels.
- Reverse Hypers: Lie on your stomach with your hands by your sides. With a slight bend in the knees, raise both legs off the ground until they are parallel to the floor, squeezing your glutes and hamstrings. Slowly lower your legs back down to the starting position.
- Deadlifts: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in front of you with your palms facing down. Engage your core and hinge forward at the hips, lowering the weight to the floor. Squeeze your glutes as you stand back up to the starting position.
- Step Back Lunges and Step Ups: Stand in front of a box, bench, or step. Take one leg and step back to lower into a lunge. Push off the back foot to return to the start position. With Step Ups, place one foot on top of the box and press into that foot to push your body up until your leg is straight. Step back down to the start position with control.
- Single Leg Hip Thrusts: Lie on your back with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Lift one leg off the floor and bridge up, pushing through your heel and squeezing your glutes. Lower back down to the start position with control.
- Fire Hydrants/Side Steps with a Band or Cable Machine: Tie a band around your legs, just above the knees. For Fire Hydrants, get into a tabletop position and lift one leg up to the side while keeping the band tight. Step back to the starting position. For Side Steps, stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and step sideways while keeping the band tight.
- Bridges on an Exercise Ball or Foam Roller: Lie flat on your back and place either a foam roller or exercise ball underneath one of your feet. Bridge up, squeezing your glutes and hamstrings as you do so. Lower back down with control and repeat.
Exercises that help reduce chronic pain and improve blood circulation can also be beneficial in preventing the ill effects of sitting too much.
2. Invest in an Ergonomic Chair with Good Lumbar Support
Poor posture while sitting is a major contributor to back and glute pain. An ergonomic chair can help you maintain better posture, which reduces the strain on your muscles and can help to keep them healthy.
3. Use a Standing Desk or Adjustable-Height Workstation
Using a standing desk or adjustable-height workstation is one of the most effective ways to reduce the effects of sitting too much. Standing, even for a few hours every day, can help strengthen your glute and lower back muscles, as well as reduce the risk of developing chronic back pain. If you can, invest in an adjustable-height workstation that allows you to easily switch between sitting and standing at your desk.
4. Get Up from Your Desk Regularly for Short Walks
Getting up and leaving your desk for just a few minutes is better than nothing. This helps keep your back and glutes in good condition, as well as reducing any stiffness you may feel in your lower body.
Take regular breaks to stand, stretch, and move around: Try setting a timer every 30 minutes to remind yourself. You can also use stretching or strength exercises throughout the day to help keep these muscles healthy and strong. Don’t forget to vary the types of exercises that you do.
A sedentary lifestyle, specifically, sitting for prolonged periods of time can have a negative effect on your glute and lower back muscles. Prolonged sitting in one position can cause tightness and strain in both of these muscle groups, leading to discomfort and possibly even injury. So it’s important to keep these areas active by getting up often at work or during leisure activities, and including exercises in your routine that specifically target the glutes and lower back. This will help you maintain a strong, healthy muscle tone and reduce any stiffness or pain from sitting too long. Taking regular breaks throughout your day and finding ways to stay active can also help keep your muscles healthy and strong.