Lisa Ann McCall of The McCall Method says let’s talk about sitting!
LET’S TALK ABOUT SITTING
Let’s talk about sitting. Seems pretty easy. … just plop down, right? Or sit on one leg, sit and cross legs … maybe lean on a hip. We do it all the time in the car, desk, couch, bar, restaurant, dinner table or maybe the living room floor if we have kids.
Do we sit too much? Maybe. But that’s not my place to judge. But HOW you sit is right up my alley. How aware are you when you sit? Why do you need to know how to sit well? Because anything you do a lot affects your whole life.
Your body never stops changing. Change is the only constant, as many of you already know. When you don’t move a lot your body’s composition changes (weight gain, higher blood pressure, stress increases etc.) When you move less you lose your sense of HOW to move as well. This is called proprioception, which means “sense of self.” In your limbs, the proprioceptors are sensors that provide information about joint angle, muscle length and muscle tension.1 That allows you to know where your limbs are in space. Lacking this “sense of self” when you’re sitting can bring discomfort and breakdown to your joints.
Small changes in your sitting position can make BIG changes in how you feel. These small changes occur in your joints. There are sensory receptors throughout your joints and tissue that collect information. When our brain and spinal cord receive this information it sends the appropriate command to the muscles that create a “motor response” or movement.2 (You can read more about this in Chapter 7 of my book). If your joints don’t move well then your muscles can’t do their job efficiently. It’s all very tightly connected. So the smallest shift in your hips or your spine or in your legs can create a world of difference in how you feel when you sit. Too often, we feel tightness and discomfort in sitting. The tightness or discomfort you feel can mean your muscles could be stuck in a guarding or holding pattern. It’s the opposite of how your body is designed to be – relaxed, using as little work as possible, with your bones naturally balanced and not held in place with tense muscles.
My Sitting Video along with the Hip and Knee Video show you HOW powerful sitting is for your body. They also illustrate how sitting in different places can usher in a whole new (and positive) experience for you.
So being a smart sitter in a society of sitting makes sense right? It’s the one constant you know you will be doing. So sitting does not have to be the next smoking. It can bring about greater flexibility, strength and an awareness which brings relaxation. Changing the way you sit takes SO LITTLE TIME, too. If you get sleepy when you sit, if you hurt when you sit, or if you are just not comfortable when you sit then CHANGE THE WAY YOU SIT!!!
I hope by the time you are done with me you are truly a smart ass in the most literal since of the word. Don’t forget….have fun! Remember, ‘sit happens!’
2. L.A. McCall, The McCall Body Balance Method, Simple Concepts for Ageless Movement, Brown Books ,Dallas Tx., 2001 p. 183.
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Lisa Ann McCall is a physical therapist with 27+ years experience in orthopedic dysfunction. During that time in private practice, she’s worked with professional athletes,physicians and surgeons, as well as patients suffering from arthritis, joint disease and chronic pain. McCall worked three years as a physical therapist in clinical settings before starting her private practice in 1991.
LisaAnn McCall, Physical Therapist, Creator and Author of the The McCall Body Balance Method