There are several health issues that come from sitting hours on end. However, one that we'll focus on here is the impact on your hip flexors. Your hip flexors are a group of muscles that connect your upper leg to your hip and are involved in just about every kind of movement that deals with the lower body: exercises like the squat, deadlift, overhead press, bench press, etc.
When it comes to muscles, the best way to keep them strong and healthy is with movement. When muscles expand and contract, blood and oxygen can move throughout your body. However, sitting keeps your hip flexors in a contracted (shortened) state which turns into tightness.
Won't a good stretch fix the problem?
Yes and no. While we always encourage stretching, and there are some really awesome stretches you can do for your hip flexors, the long-term effects of prolonged sitting can be more significant.
For instance, when you have tight hip flexors from sitting, typically you will see weakened core muscles because you're not engaging them with standing. When you combine tight hip flexors and a weakened core, now you're looking at posture issues which lead to additional concerns, i.e., upper and lower back pain, neck pain, misalignment of the spine, etc.
So what can you do to fix tight hip flexors?
- While at work, make sure you get up and walk around and stretch every couple of hours. Do this for 10-15 minutes so your body can recover and get blood and oxygen flowing again.
- Make stretching a habit. Here are some excellent daily stretches to help keep you limber.
- If your pain is excessive and possibly caused by an injury, see a physical therapist. He or she can walk you through proper movements for your body and help get you moving freely again.
At Staszak Physical Therapy & Wellness Center, located in downtown Eugene, Oregon, our team of physical therapists and PT aides are here to help. Give us a call today to schedule a consult. 541-505-8180