As most of you already know, sedentary lifestyles are bad for our health for numerous reasons. I want to cover some steps you can take to mitigate or reverse the negative effect prolonged hours of sitting can impact our body. Anatomically and physiologically, humans were not meant or designed to be in a seated position for 8+ hours a day. The bodies large muscle groups were put in place to help propel our bodies in a series of motions and directions. When we sit for 8 or more hours a day we are under-utilizing one of the most functional muscle groups of all, the gluteus maximus aka glutes. When this happens these muscles simply forget how to fire and how to work. A simple case of “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” When you start to lose functionality to your glutes, this is often referred to “Sleeping Butt Syndrome”, a condition that encourages poor posture by pulling our body into an unnatural forward-flexed position. This can further lead to vertebral column misalignment, rounding of the shoulders and curvature in the spine known as scoliosis. Your body will start to develop chronic problems in the core, hips and hamstrings leading to tendonitis in the knees, pain in the Achilles and most commonly lower back pain.
Lets discuss a few tips so you can avoid these issues!
Simply doing some daily stretching, incorporating 5 to 10 minutes a day before and after long drives, will help loosen up the joints and strengthen these core muscles. Periodic stretching on breaks or rest stops can help diminish the negative effects of prolonged sitting and mitigate sleeping butt syndrome.
Simple stretches to target your core muscle groups:
- Pigeon Stretch – targets hips, glutes and lower back
- Childs pose – targets quadriceps and upper back
- Dragon pose – targets hips, hamstrings and core
- Lizard Pose – targets hips, hamstrings, glutes and achilles
- Seated Straddle pose – targets hips, hamstrings and lower back
Another key tip to mitigate sleeping butt syndrome is periodic movement, such as walking. You can break it up throughout the day or when you stop at rest stops. It doesn’t take much I promise you! Five to ten minutes of walking here and there throughout the day can add up. Piggyback your walking with some stretches and you will start to feel more flexible, less stiff, and less sore!
If you have any questions or want to know some other good stretches, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want make sure we are doing our best to help all of you while you are out on the road helping everyone else.