Sitting Isn’t as Bad for You as You Think


If you’ve spent any time reading health-related content online, you’ve probably seen a number of articles telling you how horrible sitting is for your health. Some articles may go so far as to compare sitting to smoking or tell readers that sitting is the thing that’s killing them.

The truth is, though, that the writers preaching about the evils of sitting have the facts entirely wrong. Sitting doesn’t lead to poor health — lack of activity does. Some people — scared to death of sitting — resort to standing at their computers while they work. If you’re spending all of your time standing — and not exercising — you’re doing things the wrong way.

If you spend all of your time sitting, your body will eventually adapt to your lack of activity. Your spine, hamstrings and hips will begin to weaken because sitting tells your body that your core muscles aren’t needed. Your body increasingly becomes good at sitting rather than moving.

Over time, the weakening of your core muscles can lead to another side effect: poor posture during walking. Chairs are comfortable because they support your back for you. Since you no longer need to support your own back, your core muscles weaken. As a result, you’ll compensate with the muscles in your back when walking — and you’ll walk with poor posture. When you do sit, counteract the damage to your posture by keeping your core muscles engaged.

Preventing the Damage of Non-Stop Sitting

There is nothing wrong with periodic sitting. Sitting with poor posture and never exercising, though, does lead to problems. Prevent the damage of constant sitting in three ways:

  1. Keep moving
  2. Maintain proper posture when sitting
  3. Exercise regularly

Keep Moving

You’re likely to spend most of your time sitting when you work during the day. To keep your body moving, you should remind yourself to stand up and move around periodically. You can use a timer, for example, as a reminder that you need to stand up and refill your water bottle or go for a short walk around the office.

Sit With Proper Posture

If you lean against the back of your chair when you sit, you aren’t working your core muscles at all. You can combat muscle atrophy simply by sitting straight with your body moved away from the back of the chair. You can use an audible alert such as a wind-up timer to remind yourself periodically of the need to maintain proper posture.

Exercise Regularly

If you spend much of your time sitting, your core probably includes the muscle groups that need the most training. Exercise as often as possible. When you do, target the core muscle groups with the workout regimen that you select.

Sitting Isn’t as Bad for You as You Think

As our labor force becomes increasingly technical, more and more people in the workforce spend the majority of their time sitting at desks. There isn’t anything wrong with sitting, though — the problem is what non-stop sitting ultimately leads to. If you recognize that lack of movement is the true problem, you can work to correct the problem — and sit as much as you like.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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