Congratulations! If you are reading this then that means you are attracted to learning more about how posture can affect your wellbeing.
If you have not yet explored the topic of how posture can affect your health, you can check out my previous blog post about it.
Today, I will focus specifically how sitting affects the hips. The hips play a major role in the functioning of many other muscles throughout the body that are linked to aches and pains.
The 3 main topics will include:
- What does poor sitting posture look like?
- How it affects your body through aches, pains, and injuries.
- Quick tip / solution
1) What does poor sitting posture look like?
Obviously, in the example above it is clear to see how poor posture can look like at a desk Pretty simple right? Perhaps you are mindful enough to not look like the person on the left. However, just because your back looks straight, does not mean that your posture is good!
The picture directly above, it shows improper sitting posture on the left. Can you spot the difference?
Take a look at the hip area. Although the upper back may look upright, it is only done so because the muscles of the lower back are working extra hard to do so.
Whenever the body’s posture is not in proper alignment, the body will try to compensate with another muscle. This is the cause of injuries and pain!
Imagine how your hand would feel if it was clenched your fist tightly all day. Or imagine if you walked on your tiptoes all day. Try it for a minute now. Your calves and feet will be extremely fatigued and tight shortly after. A nice foot massage may relieve the pain, but it will shortly return if you continue the same patterns the next day.
2) How does this affect your body?
Imagine playing a game of Jenga. When everything is aligned properly the stability of the blocks keeps the whole structure up easily. The more curves there are in the overall structure, the closer you are to the inevitable collapse of the game leaving you to pick up the pieces in distraught!
Hips Tilted Backwards
Let’s look at the first example again. If you are like most people, this is what comes to mind when you think about poor posture. This is because it’s the easiest to notice in a person. Not only are the shoulders hunched over, but the person’s hips is tilted backward. The lower back is in a bad position, but probably the upper back is putting in the extra work. Pain in the upper back area and neck are likely.
Hips Tilted Forwards
Above demonstrates what happens to the body when hips are tilted forwards. Although the person’s upper body looks upright, the hips are rotated towards the front. This causes tightness in the lower back and hips while making the abdominals, glutes, and hamstrings weak. Pain in the mentioned tight muscles are a result or amplified if there are previous issues with those areas.
3) Tips and solutions
What are some tips on how to sit properly?
The bones of the hips actually felt if you dig in there! The pointy ends of the hips should be pointed straight down into your seat! They are highlighted in red below.
Or to put it another way, this is also where the hamstrings and glutes meet. Get to know yourself and feel where your bottom ends and where the large muscle in the back of your leg begins. Flex and contract them tightly whenever you sit down and make a mental connection on how to squeeze those muscles.
Then try to plant them firmly into the seat. If done properly, you will feel stable in the seat while both the upper and lower back are upright while working a lot less. This is how you avoid back pain caused by tightness as a result of the improper ways of sitting discussed above.
If you think this is a bit complicated, that is completely normal! The whole reason I am so fascinated by this area of study is that there is so much opportunity to help people by creating information and also products that can solve these issues!
Products such our Shoulder and Back Brace Posture Corrector helps keep your upper body in proper posture while our Knee and Hip Sitting Posture Corrector is great for maintaining the pelvis aligned properly as described above.
Improper sitting is likely the biggest culprit in cases of lower back pain in most people. We do it while we work, drive, eat, and even when we use the toilet!
Fixing it will undoubtedly play a major role in how you feel. Still, corrective exercises can speed up the process significantly. In future posts, I’ll explain those in greater detail.
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