If you are like me (and I’m sure many of you are) your job requires you to spend the majority of your day sitting at a desk. With advances in technology more and more professions have been moved indoors and require us to punch away at a keyboard. Now there are definitely pros and cons to this, but what I want to look at here is how spending large amounts of time can impact the body.
Unfortunately, sitting down for long periods of time (especially if you allow yourself to get into bad positions) is not so great for the average Joe, and especially for an athlete. Let’s look at a few areas of the body that are negatively affected by prolonged sitting.
Psoas- a core muscle of the body, which attaches to the 12th thoracic vertebrae and each of the lumbar vertebrae, and moves through the pelvis and inserts into the thighbone. The psoas becomes shortened and tight during long periods of sitting, which is not something we want. Tight psoas make hip extension difficult, and hip extension is vital to almost all movements we do in CrossFit. A few tips to prevent this are to sit on a flat chair, keep your feet on the floor, sit with your weight in front of your sits bones, and sit with your hip sockets higher than your knees. Here is a short video from Kstar elaborating on this topic.
Scalene muscles- a group of three pairs of muscles in the lateral neck that attach to the first rib. Numerous hours of sitting can shorten these muscles and start to pull your head and neck forward, and also cause jaw dysfunction. Here is a MWOD to help keep the scalene muscles moving freely. It is also good to palpate the muscles throughout the day.
Shoulder blades or scapulae- the end of each shoulder blade forms the structure that your arm bone is attached to. Improper sitting and typing positions can cause the shoulders and thoracic spine to round, which can create problems down stream in the elbow and wrist. A few tips here would be to position your keyboard low enough so you can relax your shoulders and work close to your body, keep your mouse right next to your keyboard, and position your monitor about an arms-length in front of you. Here is one more video from Kstar (as well as a challenge) with multiple MWODs you can perform at your desk to help keep you mobile.
I hope this will make you more aware of the positions you sit in, and the negative impact poor positions can have on your body and your performance in the gym. Be cognizant of what you do to your body and make an effort to keep it functioning properly. Stay supple my friends.