You might be asking yourself “How are my feet and ankles affected by long periods of sitting?” The answer is an age old adage, “If you don’t use it you lose it”. When we are sitting at our desks with “good postural alignment” you can see that our feet and ankles remain positioned in a passive mid-range position. This means that they are being passively held and artificially supported, in a position somewhere in the middle of the available range of motion of that joint. In this case the ideal end ranges of the ankle are from about 20 degrees of dorsiflexion (toes up) to about 45 degrees of plantar flexion (toes down). If any joint is statically held within a restricted “mid-range” for prolonged periods of time, the tissues that comprise that joint can become dehydrated and loose resiliency with regard to their role in shock absorption and elastic recoil. This puts them at much higher risk of acquiring injury during exercise or even with daily movements.
The feet and ankles are a pair of the most complex structures in our body. The human foot has 26 bones and 33 joints! It is an amazing machine that was built to hold your body weight and move it over any terrain that we encounter.
Now if you add up the average number of hours that you sit, (and be honest) then multiply that by the days you work in a year! You end up with a lot of disuse and your body adapts by allowing the supportive musculature in your feet to atrophy away into nothing. This will lead to plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, morton’s neuroma, bunions, heel spurs, flat feet, and many more.
Stay tuned for more posts on ways you can help maintain strong healthy feet!