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UK Coaching Team
Improving Physical Ability

Tackle the Dangers of 'Over-Sitting' Through Better Preparation

Physio Alison Rose explains the damaging side effects of being seated for too long – an issue brought to the fore by the UK’s coronavirus lockdown – and offers some suggestions for helping the people you coach push back

The lockdown presented many of us with challenges. For coaches and trainers working with people who spent most three months sat down, indoors, one of those challenges was physical. Even if we sit at work, it is unlikely that we are sitting as much as we were while in lockdown.

Further, even if we increased the frequency of our exercise sessions to daily, it may be that we exercised and then spent the rest of the day not moving or being slouched over laptops. Spending that kind of time sitting down can have a marked effect on our bodies and nervous systems. It’s worth bearing this in mind when advising those we’re training.

Sitting results in us having our glutes in a lengthened position for long periods of time, at the same time our hip flexors are being shortened. 

Calf muscles similarly are in a shortened position and we are unlikely to be using our foot muscles to the same degree as we were. If sitting over laptops, pectoral muscles are likely to be getting tight and upper backs stiff.

So: ask clients how life is now, and how things have changed in how they feel when exercising. Then you can work out ways to combat this.

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