Why sitting down too much affects our running form and performance.
As human beings, our body was not made to sit all day. Over the last decades, with the average lifestyle focused more and more on technology and office work, our overall health has decreased dramatically. Between nine to eleven hours is the average time spent sitting per day, sometimes even up to 13 hours. Between driving to work, sitting at a desk and driving back home, not much activity is included.
As runners, sitting at a desk all day can really have some negative effect on our running form and performance, as well as highly increasing the risk of injuries.
What happens to the body when we sit for too many hours per day?
Cardiovascular disease- Sitting down for hours causes the body to shut down, there is very little muscle activity and blood flow.
Higher levels of cholesterol and diabetes.
Organ damage- Sitting down all day puts pressure on the organs causing damage,
Digestive problems- Sitting down for hours/day slows down the metabolism and the digestive system, causing a lot of stomach issues.
Lowers the quality of sleep- Even though you might be able to sleep for enough hours, the quality of the sleep is highly affected, causing more general fatigue.
Loss of brain power- The brain becomes foggy making it harder to focus.
Muscle degeneration- The abdominal muscles and core get weaker. When we have a weaker core, other muscles have to take over and get overused.
Impacts the mobility of the hips which is crucial for runners
Weakens the glutes
Tightens and shorten the hip flexors, which makes it harder to have a proper running form and stride. It also makes it more difficult to run uphill or stairs.
Back pain- Sitting for too long adds pressure on the spine and compresses the disks that make up your back.
Even for people that train every day, if we sit for too many hours, our health and well-being are highly affected. When we move, the muscles pump up fresh blood and oxygen to the body, muscles and brain.
Tips on how to keep moving:
-Use a stand up desk for work, it will add 75 mins of activity per day.
-Stand up on the bus or MTR.
-Get up, stretch and move every 30 mins at work.
-Stand up when you use your laptop at home.
-When on the phone, move around.
-Cut down on computer or TV time and swap for more active hobbies.
A great way to motivate yourself is to count your daily steps, aim for at least 10,000 steps/day:)
Train Hard, Eat Right & Feel Great!