Sitting Leads to Dysfunctional Movement


On average, Americans spend 13 hours per day in a seated position. Studies have shown that sitting has negative effects on our cellular and metabolic health. When sitting, metabolic activity and caloric consumption are 70% less than walking.Sitting for extended periods every day leads to insulin resistance and increases in LDL cholesterol. Over time this can lead to decreased energy, increased weight gain, and increased risk of disease.

When seated for extended periods of time our muscles begin to tense up around the unnatural position which makes it harder to return to a healthy position. Over time repetitive micro trauma leads to scarring and adhesion formation, increasing stiffness and eventually leading to pain. Increased stiffness over time actually leads to more scarring which then leads to more stiffness. The cycle goes on and on. After years of this, premature degeneration of joints and discs occurs, leading to chronic pain and limited movement.


In some cultures people squat instead of sitting. When squatting properly the lumbar spine extends, giving the muscles a much needed break. Our weight is distributed between our legs, hips, and core which creates an efficient and pain free method of resting.

So why is squatting so difficult for so many people? Most people alternate only between walking and sitting, which means the hips and knees never go past 90 degrees. If a movement never gets used, it can become full of scar tissue and lose coordination from the brain. Your body doesn’t like to keep options available when it never needs them. This creates stiffness in the joints that are underused. Tight hips and ankles can make squatting almost impossible to properly perform. This leads to pain and difficulty with the motion instead of a restful position.


Children are a perfect example. They squat without fault when growing up, but once they enter school and begin to sit for extended periods of time squatting is one of the first functional motions to go. It is extremely important to keep these functional motions in order to avoid all the aches and pains attributed to “aging.” Your children may not have pain but they may have signs of future problems. Call us to set up a movement screening with us to find out where improvements can be made.

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