CORONAVIRUS: OH, THE SITTING!

Living life in the middle of the pandemic has certainly been challenging and we all have experienced unexpected side effects.  Since the infection rate is very low in New York, I’m starting to see more people in person. While I expected some strength losses, I wasn’t prepared to see people hobbling in from too much sitting. 

Without getting too technical, in a seated state, your hip flexors are shortened and your butt muscles, the glutes, are lengthened. Staying in this position for too long can cause all kinds of muscular imbalances resulting in lower back, hip and knee pain. Now let’s add the pandemic. So many of us are working from home. Instead of having a commute from the suburbs into the city, the travel time is now from the bathroom to the kitchen. While commuting via public transportation was a hassle, it often involved a lot of walking and stair climbing. Once in the office, there were more moving opportunities—even small things like going to the bathroom down the hall or taking a few flights of stairs to the cafeteria. All of this movement adds up. At the end of the day, there used to be a commute home which, again, involved moving.

Unfortunately, exercise of any kind—even just moving around—can’t be stored up. Being sedentary Monday-Friday and trying to exercise it away on the weekends will not alleviate the problem. The solution? Do your best to get up and move during the day. I am not saying that this will be easy. But I know for certain that even 5-10-minute walking breaks throughout the day will help tremendously. Set your phone as a reminder!

Another issue I’m seeing in people is a lot of neck pain. This is due to having a less than optimal workstation. My husband was one of these people. He finally went to his office and hijacked his work chair. That made a tremendous difference. If you have no idea when you will be going back to work, make the investment in correcting your workspace.

As I was writing this blog, a client of mine sent me a link to a NY Times article about the same issue. See the link below–they give some great tips!

From my perspective? PLEASE MOVE YOUR BODY! And do it as frequently as you can given your set of circumstances. Muscular imbalances don’t go away immediately—they stick around wrecking havoc.

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