Ever since studies have correlated prolonged sitting with life expectancy, sitting has been under fire.
Corporations have implemented standing desks and hundreds of ergonomic chairs have hit the market.
In general, this is a good thing! But is sitting really as evil as we think?
And is sitting for long periods of time problematic for your pelvic floor?
Not necessarily. The issue is not so much sitting as it is any prolonged position without intermittent changes and movement.
We are not made to be in any one position for a long period of time. It's not the sitting that creates health issues for us, it's simply not moving.
The human body was unequivocally made to move. This doesn't necessarily mean we should be exercising constantly, it just means standing up, sitting down, walking around and even lying down should a part of your day.
Sitting for longer than 2-3 hours a day, day after day, certainly can add up, which is why I recommend changing positions every couple of hours.
Some issues I notice that arise from prolonged sitting postures include:
"Bum tucked under" pelvic position
Forward head posture
Now these are certainly issues that can create some serious dysfunction. Let's go through them one-by-one.
Bum Tucked Under Pelvic Position
This posture creates the appearance of a "flat" or "pancake" butt. This is a very common position that can certainly be the result of prolonged sitting or slouching.
The bum tuck can inhibit the ability for the glute muscles to activate and shut them off. Glute muscles that don't fire well can result in pelvic floor dysfunction, knee, hip, low back, and even ankle problems.
This pelvic posture also lends itself to over-recruitment of the pelvic floor. This can lead to painful sitting and issues with bowel movements.
Forward Head Posture
The forward head is a head that cranes forward in front of the rest of the body. This is accompanied by a rounded upper back and hunched shoulders.
This is also the result of prolonged slouched posture, that has overtime lengthened and inhibited the upper back muscles and overtightened the chest muscles.
This posture can create headaches, jaw dysfunction, neck and shoulder pain, and overtime create balance/equilibrium issues.
Believe it or not, this posture can also affect your core and pelvic floor. When the ribcage is slouched and closed off, our abdominal muscles are unable to fire appropriately.
This can create pelvic floor issues!
Sitting on its own is not bad or evil. Sitting without changing positions throughout your day, day after day, is a sedentary lifestyle, which can certainly be problematic when considering disease processes that arise from this lifestyle.
Prolonged sitting or slouching may lead to postural issues like a tucked bum or forward head, which can affect the pelvic floor.
There is no perfect posture to be in for prolonged periods of time. Our bodies were simply meant to move and change positions frequently. Any one position for a long period of time will result in some kind of dysfunction.
If you're wondering how to start countering prolonged sitting postures, contact us to book your consult today!