Making Up for Sitting Down

Spending most of your day sitting down changes your body. It can cause imbalances in the musculoskeletal system, which can cause tightness and pain. It can also affect systems of the body like your circulatory system and your metabolism. These changes can be treated and corrected through integrative care.

Sitting down tightens the hip flexor and hamstring muscles. Over time, the body begins to hold this shape, shortening and loosening relevant muscles so that you are adapted to sitting down. Unfortunately, this means that when you then go to stand, walk, run, and move around, your body is no longer able to do that as easily.

As your body adapts to sitting down, you may develop low back pain. This is often caused by the way the hamstrings, hip flexors, and other muscles affect the alignment of your pelvis. You may also develop knee pain, as the muscles that affect the knee begin to work differently and in ways that are less suited to staying mobile.

Sitting down for long periods of time also affects the systems of the body. The cardiovascular system slows down, delivering less oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. Because your large muscle groups are more relaxed, they use less glucose, which means more sugar is left in the bloodstream. Sitting also slows your metabolism, reducing levels of the fat-burning enzyme lipase by 90%.

Integrative health care can help loosen muscles that have grown tight from sitting, and to address muscular imbalances caused by adaptations to sitting down. We can assist circulation, bringing fresh blood and nutrient flow into tissues that have grown stiff or painful. We can also support healthy metabolism, and help the body learn to be more comfortable being active.

Sitting down all day is not what our bodies are designed to do, and so it can contribute to a lot of health imbalances. Integrative health care uses acupuncture, bodywork, counseling, nutrition, and somatics to help correct these imbalances, reactivate the systems of the body, and create health.