7 Reasons Why Standing is Awesome (and sitting is not): Reason #2

by Dr. David Sloan, D.C., DIBCN, FIACN and Dr. Heather Sloan, D.C.

Standing helps prevent injuries

Sitting weakens muscles necessary for playing sports and enjoying active hobbies

Part two of our seven-part series gives us another reason why we should be standing more than we are sitting. In part one, we talked about how standing helps keep our joints healthy, while sitting for long periods of time can cause our muscles to shorten and put pressure on our joints. With shortened muscles, and weakened joints, our bodies have trouble staying active and are more prone to injury. Dr. Heather and Dr. Dave explain more:

Dr. Heather:

Dr. Dave and I have noticed that the musculoskeletal system seems to give out in our society before the cardiovascular system. Many of our patients have the cardiovascular health to run and do sports but their musculoskeletal system is too damaged to allow the freedom of movement. Core body mechanic issues we see in our office result from sitting, regardless of the mechanism of injury that brings them into our office. We even see youth in our office come in with hip and knee pain and instability, because they are lacking the strength in their intrinsic muscles to prevent injuries. This can lead to what we call “the burned out athlete” who can no longer play sports in their 30’s and 40’s because of pain and poor body mechanics. I have patients tell me they feel old at 40. 40 is not old but the sedentary lifestyle we are all trapped in is aging people prematurely.

Dr. Dave:

Any posture shortens some muscles and lengthens the opposing muscle group. If this is held for a prolonged period of time, these postures are memorized and become preferable to other postures and makes movement more difficult due to this imbalance. This imbalance or asymmetry increases your risk of injury. In a sitting position, your hip flexor becomes shortened. As you stand, tight hip flexors increase the work the low back muscles have to do as they work to stabilize the spine against the pull of the flexors. If the hip flexors are too tight, they will overwhelm the low back muscles and you may injure the low back.

So to help keep injuries at bay, get on those feet and keep those muscles moving! And keep an eye out for next week’s post, where we’ll be learning about our spinal discs and how standing and movement help us keep them healthy.


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