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posted by hubie on Sunday July 10 2022, @07:50AM   Printer-friendly
from the get-up-and-move dept.

Simple stretches and strengthening exercises can leave you less stiff:

I am sure you've been told you should stand up and move away from your work stations or use a standing desk where possible. One of the major benefits of doing this is to activate and stretch the hip flexor area.

[...] Hip flexors are the powerful muscles located at the front of your hip. [...] Hip flexors are activated when you draw your knee towards your chest. They are important for walking and running.

Weak hip flexors may make climbing stairs, running or even walking on a flat surface difficult or painful. It can also can cause other muscles in the area to work hard to compensate. This changes your gait (the way you walk).

Tight hip flexors can make walking and standing difficult because they pull your spine down. This makes you lean forward, which puts strain on your lower back muscles (which work in opposition to keep you upright).

An imbalance between the hip flexors and the opposing muscles pulling your torso in the opposite direction can lead to lower back pain.

[...] As with all muscles, hip flexors lose strength and mass through lack of exercise.

Another contributing factor is sitting for long periods, which keeps the psoas muscles relaxed in a shortened position for a long time.

This is particularly important for those of us who spend long periods seated at a work desk, and is why many health-care professionals advise taking a break from sitting or opting for a standing desk.

[...] Failure to look after your hip flexors can lead to an altered gait, posture problems, injury and back pain.


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  • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday July 10 2022, @08:09AM (3 children)

    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Sunday July 10 2022, @08:09AM (#1259408) Journal

    It gets tiring on busy days, but I'd never trade this for a sit-down job. Working in a pharmacy is surprisingly physical at times, and that's not just about hauling boxes or unpacking med deliveries. I do a lot of bending, twisting, and squatting (PROPER squatting, heels to the ground, like any good gopnitsa!) in the course of a normal day.

    --
    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
    • (Score: 3, Touché) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Sunday July 10 2022, @08:27AM

      by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Sunday July 10 2022, @08:27AM (#1259411)

      I'm glad my job is almost all sitting: I get to exercize when I feel like it, not when the job demands it, and I won't struggle when I get older.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 10 2022, @01:43PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 10 2022, @01:43PM (#1259471)

      I don't know how you stay on your feet so much because whenever I stop by the pharmacy I don't see anyone sitting down. It got a little trendy where I work to have a standing desk. The fad has died down a bit, but most of the ones that got it still use it. I've thought about trying it myself to see what it's like.

    • (Score: 2) by legont on Sunday July 10 2022, @03:29PM

      by legont (4179) on Sunday July 10 2022, @03:29PM (#1259490)

      The key to healthy body is to exercise while having fun. Any job related exercise or the lack of thereof is bad for your health.

      --
      "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
  • (Score: 1, Redundant) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Sunday July 10 2022, @08:21AM (3 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Sunday July 10 2022, @08:21AM (#1259410)

    A sedentary lifestyle is bad for your health.

    News at 10...

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by legont on Sunday July 10 2022, @03:38PM (2 children)

      by legont (4179) on Sunday July 10 2022, @03:38PM (#1259492)

      I see the article differently and glad it was mentioned. I never thought that lower back muscles are balanced by hip flexors; or/and the other way. This explained some for me. I do walk a lot so hips are fine. I typically do go to gym, but when I skip it for awhile, I start getting a bit of back pain. I think I got my explanation. And yes, it's not easy to exercise lower back safely.

      --
      "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 10 2022, @03:51PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 10 2022, @03:51PM (#1259494)

        You might want to add in those hip flexor stretches into your routine, if you aren't doing them now.

        • (Score: 2) by legont on Monday July 11 2022, @12:58AM

          by legont (4179) on Monday July 11 2022, @12:58AM (#1259619)

          Yes, but thanks for the reminder!

          --
          "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Beryllium Sphere (r) on Sunday July 10 2022, @05:25PM

    by Beryllium Sphere (r) (5062) on Sunday July 10 2022, @05:25PM (#1259514)

    It turns out that people will pay you (a little) to take walks outside. Not only that, to further sweeten the deal they will lend you their dogs!

    My watch says I'm meeting my fitness targets just on the dog walking.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by RamiK on Sunday July 10 2022, @06:06PM

    by RamiK (1813) on Sunday July 10 2022, @06:06PM (#1259528)

    Tight hip flexors are trivial to diagnose with the Thomas test and effective treatment for what it usually really is (weakness) isn't stretching: https://thebarbellphysio.com/your-hip-flexors-arent-tight-how-to-truly-fix-tight-hips/ [thebarbellphysio.com]

    If you want to stretch stuff, work on the hams with toe touches and the like. Tight hams are universal and they're always accompanied with back issues. Anterior chain tightness though... I mean, you always hear about people tweaking their backs and spending a week in bed after doing groceries or whatever. When have you ever heard about someone straining a hip flexor unless there was 200kg loaded barbell involved or a ball being kicked? I mean, functional range wise, you're getting the full stretch just standing. Compared to hams where you only reach it with full deep bw squats, it's clear to see where a gait altering tightness imbalance would strike. No?

    Anyhow, just my 2 cents.

    --
    compiling...
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by krishnoid on Sunday July 10 2022, @10:47PM

    by krishnoid (1156) on Sunday July 10 2022, @10:47PM (#1259601)

    After a few years of yoga, a few ideas on the human/mammalian musculoskeletal system that come to mind are:

    • your upper back and gluteal muscles are the strongest large-scale muscles in your body -- think about our four-legged friends and you'll see my point.
    • your arm and thigh bones end in ball-and-socket joints, so if trained they should be capable of full rotation in a hemispherical-plus spherical angular range
    • if you can train your muscle flexion to move those bones to any phi-and-theta in their hemispherical-ish ranges, then good for you -- yoga with a good instructor was very good for this
    • if you can train your muscle strength enough to hold the bone stationary, and maybe support a little weight in any (phi, theta) in that range, then good for you

    If you then need to lift your own body weight or anything else, you should be able to position all four bones in the correct polar angles, then marshall the upper back and gluteal muscles to not put strain on anything else. For example, if you have the flexion in your hips to squat and keep your feet flat, then can use strength in your gluteals to, rather than lift your body weight and/or a box *up*, to "push the earth *away*" with your gluteals through your feet, you should end up mostly straining your gluteals and maybe the pelvis-connectors of your thighs. And if you sprain your ass? You might walk funny for a little bit, but that shouldn't send you to the medicine cabinet or emergency room (anti-lynching guarantee not valid in some states). It shouldn't touch your lower back, knees, or calves.

    So I'll make the case that you want to maintain flexion and strength around those large ball-and-socket joints, and forget about the rest for now. You might not look like a bodybuilder, but you can draw on the biggest muscles in your body when you need to *use* them for something other than looking good. I haven't gone to yoga since COVID-19 started, but the few years I did prior to that are unanticipatedly serving me well even now when it comes to this kind of flexion.

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