• Main page

Sitting is the New Smoking

Sitting is the new smoking! Sitting for too long, and the bad posture that can result can be very negative for your health. Find out how to improve in this newsletter!

The way you sit reveals a lot about you. From bad posture, to why you have joint stiffness or muscle aches, or even why you have low energy levels.


Each morning the alarm clock goes off… you snooze for only 5 minutes longer… you rush to work SITTING in traffic… only when you arrive at work you are bound to your desk SITTING for roughly 8 hours of your day!

It doesn’t end there. Some of us then spend our time after work hours sitting with even more work at home, or sitting in front of the television or computer.






We were made to move! Being inactive or leading a sedentary lifestyle not only reduces our basal metabolic rate (BMR), leading to low energy production and the accumulation of body fat (among other systemic effects); but it very often leads to the following major changes in posture and resulting changes in muscle function:


  • Pelvis rolls back – we hinge on our lumbar vertebrae; unsupported by the back extensors and the abdominal stabilizers that keep the spine neutral. The result is the shortening of deep lumbar muscles as well the psoas muscle; reduction in intervertebral disc space and “deactivation” of the gluteus muscle group. Hip stability, as well as muscle firing patterns during walking and running, are affected.
  • Slouching or rounding of the back is caused by relaxation of the extensor muscles of the spine. Sitting up straight requires these muscles to stay active – but if you’re pelvis already compromises your position – your back muscles will most likely not kick in at all.  This leads to strain on the fascia (sheaths of connective tissue covering muscle) of the posterior line, which often leads to tightness and muscle spasm in lower, mid and upper back regions as well as shortening of the hamstrings.
  • The combination of the loss of pelvic neutral and slouching of the back leads to forward head posture – which leads to increased tone in the upper trapezius muscles, which draws up the shoulders; and loss of activity in the deep neck flexors which stabilise the neck from the front. Thus, again vertebrae take the punch, being loaded with the weight of the head at the wrong angle. This can lead to narrowing of the spaces between the vertebrae of the neck; leading to nerve root compression, referred pain don the arms, wrists, and fingers, muscle spasm and headaches.


For every 1cm of forward head posture – your neck needs to carry an additional 1.5kg load!

Please take care to be aware of your posture whilst sitting and reduce the time of continued periods of sitting as far as possible.


Contact us for more information on exercises for posture correction and restoration of muscle function affected by long periods of inactivity, either at or call us on 061 452 7812.

Things to expect during your assessment may include biomechanical, posture and gait analysis as well as measurements of muscular strength and endurance, to mention but a few. We guarantee you that after this your movement will be improved and you will be well on your way to reaching your fitness goals for 2016!

Kind regards,
Maskell Biokineticist Team


Copyright © 2016 Maskell Biokineticists All rights reserved.

The information presented in the pages of this newsletter is offered for educational and informational purposes only, and should not be construed as personal medical advice.

Please consult your medical professional before engaging in any exercise program.

author: Zone Fitness