Where should I put my body?


I’ve been sitting too much lately. Way too much. I see all of those studies that say sitting is as bad for our health as smoking and I think, it’s not like I have much of a choice. Still, something has changed.

I used to sit a lot and knew I didn’t have a choice, and it felt right, even though my brain said it wasn’t good for me.

Now I sit a lot and it feels wrong. It feels like too much sitting. My brain said it’s bad for me, but so does my body. My back hurts. My neck hurts. I know I’ll feel better if I move around more.

The problem is, moving more would help my neck and back, but not the rest of me. I don’t have the energy to move more. I do what I can, but between my adrenal problems and everything else, I justย can’t do more activity. It would be really bad for me. Recently I had a few days where I did more because I felt up to at the time, and then I paid for it the next day. So I know I need to dial back a bit.

The thing is, it still feels wrong. I sit in front of the computer or on the couch watching tv or in a comfy chair with a book and I’m happy with the reading or writing or watching, but my body hurts in ways that are specific to doing too much sitting.

What’s the answer? I don’t know. I don’t have the energy to walk more. Laying down would hurt in different ways, and would definitely harm me emotionally. Sitting makes the most sense, but it’s too painful.

What about you? Have you had this problem? Do you have any ideas of what might help? Please share your ideas in the comments. I’d love to hear them. One of you might just solve this problem for me and for others who read this!

19 Responses to Where should I put my body?

  1. Maybe you just need a more comfy chair, or some kind of orthopedic chair pad or something. I’m sure you get up to use the bathroom, cook your meals, etc., so it’s not like you never, ever move. Or, maybe some easy stretching exercises would help – and I mean, really easy, like just enough to get some blood to your muscles without putting too much strain on your system. If you do decide to start walking more, do in a little bit at a time – like just go from the house to the sidewalk and back the first day and build up from there. That’s what I do. After my hospitalization, followed by my broken foot, all I could do was sit in front of the computer or TV. Now, I’m trying to do more. So far, I’ve managed to get up to about half a mile at a slow walking pace. Just a few years ago, I could have walked at a very fast pace for several miles without any problem.

    • chronicrants says:

      That’s great that you’ve been able to walk more! I did the same thing – at first, it was 5 minutes of very slow walking, and I slowly built up. Now I try to take a walk once a day. But the rest of the day, there’s too much sitting (in between trips to the bathroom and kitchen, like you said.) I do stretch, but now that you mention it, I’m thinking I should be doing a lot more. Or maybe different stretches? I’ll have to think about that. Thanks CM!

  2. Kara says:

    Oh man, I am so with you on this. Getting out of, and staying out of bed for the day, is a major feat of strength. Anything beyond that, I sputter out fast. I’m considering physical therapy once or twice a week to keep my muscles from becoming more atrophied, and I’m sure a physical therapist can figure out what’ll work the best. Beyond that, I’ve been thinking about doing seated strength training with free weights as much as I can tolerate. Maybe a recumbent bike, or those under desk bicycle pedals (don’t have either one of those)? Just something to get my heart rate up and blood flowing more, as if standing up doesn’t send my heart rate through the roof. Any way I look at it, I can’t see myself with the energy to actually do it, so I’d have to deal with the aftermath of overexertion and just hope the longer term benefits outweigh the misery.

    • chronicrants says:

      I was thinking about one of those under-desk pedal things too, Kara. My concern is that with my adrenal problems, I don’t want to do “too much.” But of course, there’s no way to know what’s “too much” until I try, so maybe I should just try it…. Let me know how PT goes for you if you do it!

  3. Ms. Mango says:

    Going from incredibly active to having to ‘rest’ most of the day from pain and fatigue has been an insane learning experience. Like you it hurts if I move too much and it hurts in different ways if I am still too long. My two vices are reminding myself to change positions often ( flexing joints and muscles in between to ease tension as much as possible) and to stretch, stretch, stretch. Depending on what’s flared up or the most stiff it changes a lot how much time I have to spend but usually at least 5-10 minutes 3-4 times a day. Sometimes I follow some of fitnessblender.com’s short stretch videos to make sure I’m not rushing or when my brain just doesn’t want to think. I also use a tennis ball for my back, shoulders, feet and legs, the pressure helps and I thank my physiotherapist a boat load for teaching me exactly how to do it for my specific tension.

    • chronicrants says:

      I’m glad you’ve found a routine to help, Ms. Mango. It’s a hard adjustment, and I can’t imagine it happening quickly. I was never incredibly active and my progression to constantly resting happened slowly over many years. Still, it’s not easy. I’ll have to check out that site. I like some of the Healthy Steps exercises but they take a while and I’m not consistent. I guess I should look around for others to mix in. Thanks!

  4. Megan S says:

    I have the same issues, although I do tend to lie down more than sitting. I lie or sit to watch TV, listen to an audio book, or do some work. I try and break it up with regular short periods of walking or standing. I’ve found if I do some yoga in the morning that seems to make the rest of the day slightly better.

  5. joyfullnoise says:

    I understand this all to well. Sitting too much hurts. Laying too much hurts.
    I finally helped solve my problem by buying 2 special chairs for myself. One was a lazy-boy style chair and the other is a “hammock” chair.
    There are times that I can’t even handle laying in my bed (and I have a good bed finally too) … So having these other 2 options save me.
    My hammock chair cost me about $15 dollsrs. It cradles my body but allows me to sit. I can have my legs up to help with swelling or I can have them down. I can sit on my porch in it so I can watch people and be out more … Or I can have it in my living room to work on the computer or watchbtv, etc. It’s been my solution and salvation.
    If you ever want to see a picture of what I use, let me know and I can email it to you.
    I’ve been in a flare this week … I can barely walk to the bathroom and have even had to resort to using my wheelchair again. So, I’ve been doing even more sitting and laying than normal.
    I feel your frustration.

  6. Jyl Milner says:

    I hear what you’re saying. I’d gotten into “rest mode” after a nasty mental and physical health meltdown last August. By late October, I had “rested” my way into metabolic syndrome, a nasty condition that is a precursor to even nastier conditions, like diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. I knew I had to get up and start moving again, but it was hard. I couldn’t walk very far, certainly couldn’t go shopping, and couldn’t stand long enough to cook a quick meal for my family.

    One of my elderly neighbors, who has different challenges than I do, uses a rollator – a walker with 4 wheels, hand brakes, and a SEAT! That has opened so many doors I had slammed shut with my resting and deconditioning. If I get tired and can’t go any further, I sit on the seat and wait until I can. Feet cramping? Sit. Knee hurting? Sit.

    There’s a saying – run if you can, walk if you must, crawl if that’s all you can do. If you’re not terribly mobile, just remember that sitting has got to be better than being bedridden!

  7. Karen J says:

    Hugs to you, CR ~ no ideas here, but ‘moral support’ out the wazoo!

  8. stuckintexas says:

    I will start with a caveat – I can’t compare apples to apples bc I don’t have pain, generally. The creaks and crunches of a middle aged body carrying some extra pounds is all.

    I’m on oxygen 24/7, but despite that walking more than 20ft has me getting winded.

    So I’ve done a lot of sitting. And reading. I learned how fast your body turns muscle into blubber when you don’t use them.

    Six months ago I had my husband buy me a pedaler. It’s pedals like from a bike, but on a stationary frame. I sit in my chair to do it.

    I’m not doing the Tour de France here, more like an old lady on a Sunday afternoon!

    It’s brough back my muscles in my legs, and made me a more confident walker again.

    It burns calories, gets your heart rate up and builds muscle. All while in your pjs. Or skivvies. Or a dress. I’ve also used it for my arms.

    Just an idea ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • chronicrants says:

      That’s great that the pedals work for you, stuckintexas! I’m looking them up right now. I’m worried about doing “too much” and further straining my already-strained adrenals, but I’m thinking it might be worth a shot. I wouldn’t help my neck, but it would be something at least. Thanks!

  9. […] Thanks to Megan S – your comment here inspired today’s […]

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