Quote: “In order to be wealthy, you must be healthy”
Why is today's technology not so great in terms of our bodies?
Currently it is not uncommon for the average adult to be sitting down for 12
hours a day. Sitting at the workstation, computer, watching TV, reading to
driving from destination to destination. Any or all of these may contribute to a decrease in proper human function through inflexibility or dominant muscle tightness with our body. We will try to cover this complex issue without using any fancy 10-dollar anatomy words! Flexibility is achieved through optimum soft tissue extensibility (range) in all movements of the body/joints. Muscles connect to our skeletal system (our bones) and a tight muscle or dominating muscle(s) pull the body in one direction, which will pull the bones of the body out of proper alignment. Tight or improper muscle length or strength can be very discomforting in certain movements/positions or postures.
Just some of the more common causes for muscle imbalances can be caused by alteration of a muscle length attaching to the bones, muscles surrounding a joint can be caused by a variety of reasons some common are: extended periods of sitting can lead to tight hip flexors (muscles under your stomach on top of each leg) causing postural imbalances. Sitting at a computer all day can lead to the shoulders and head to fatigue under constant pull from gravity leading to postural imbalance of rounding of the shoulders and head. Sitting can also be a huge factor for low back pain, why? Any repetitive movements can create a pattern overload of those same muscles and joints, which will start to have a compensation from muscles that are shorter/tight. Additionally sitting puts more stress on the spine than standing. Short/tight muscles can pull the bones, joints and all of the body out of "WHACK". This can lead to altered neuromuscular control (recruiting the wrong muscles as opposed to the right ones for human movements). For example, turning the exact same way repeatedly can lead to tight abdominal muscles and hip rotators creating muscles to pull one side of the body out of order. High heels can put the muscles of the calf out of alignment causing tightness in the ankle complex muscles leading to problems/flattening of the feet.
There are numerous disorders that can be contributed to the improper biomechanics (proper human movement) of our body due to the efficiency of technology this has helped us in many ways but can hurt us in some. Some simple alterations of sedentary habits can help our body's move and live better. Try to reduce excessive or prolonged sitting, take short breaks stand/stretch. Try not to sit for excessive periods of time at the computer, perform shoulder stretches pulling shoulders and head back and upright every 5 minutes and hold for a minute. Extra weight can contribute to altered pull of the muscles on the skeletal frame causing many problems, backs, knees etc. Losing excess body weight can tax the body less contributing to less pain and better posture! Performing exercise movements through full range allows for full joint and muscle movements. There are many little ways to avoid human dysfunction while benefiting from technology advancements. Remember this, muscles work similar to rubber bands, if you are stretching for just 5 minutes a day some tight muscle(s) and being in that position ex. sitting for hours a day the basic math is going to go in favor of the short and tight muscle of sitting. Therefore it will be a long and hard road to overcome that equation, try to perform many varying positions and stretches daily to overcome a tight or restricting muscles(s) as often as possible.
Once you get that rubber band stretched out you will not need to address it as regularly because you will have pulled it out of its tight and coiled up state.
By: J.D. Reber M.S. & B.S. Exercise Science, CSCS & NASM- CFT
Remember, eat healthy and live wealthy!
Personal training in Lenox, MA