Vitamin M: Get off the Couch...

You’re surrounded by evil. Every day and basically everywhere. You engage it on a daily basis and it is slowly destroying you. Unknowingly it steals your capacity to move. Its implements of devastation comes in many forms. I’m talking about sitting. Chairs, couches and those half bed like lazy-boy things are here to ruin your life. They steal your health and capacity to move and we need to fight back.

Seriously though, sitting often and for long periods of time is pretty bad. To quote Dr Kelly Starrett “We are not built to sit on our hamstrings.” Chairs and the way we sit now are pretty comfortable and allows us to keep the same position for a long time, so that we can work for longer periods of time continuously. The problem is though we are not made for that. We need movement we need to change positions regularly we need variety, but for a lot of us our jobs require us to sit for extended periods of time. Students need to go to class and study. Working people spend extended periods of time at a desk working on TPS reports (office space reference, in case you were wondering).

How do we fight the evils of sitting?

Firstly move more! Try and move more throughout your day, take walks or little movement breaks. Break the pattern of sitting continuously. Try working somewhere other than your desk if you can. Sit in different positions. Cross-legged, in a squat. If you can, work on the ground. Standing desks are an option if you want to make a serious change. The key is to break the pattern of sitting in the same position for an extended period of time. Stretch and mobilise your hips. When we sit for long periods of time our hip flexors shorten, our hips get tight and this has a whole cascade of effects on our body.

What do we do?

The couch has been ruining your body and movement for a long time, but it needs to be brought back from the dark side. The couch needs to become a force of good again … enter the couch stretch. This is a hip mobility exercise that I got from MobilityWod.com. It is simple effective and easy to do. You can do it anywhere. You don’t actually need a couch. In the videos below Kelly Starrett explains and demonstrates the couch stretch. It’s pretty simple to do and you can do it literally anywhere. So do it, but do it consistently. Your body will be happier for it.