Soleus Muscle: Your Metabolism’s Secret Booster for Active Sitting
While sitting may seem like a sedentary activity, certain muscles play a pivotal role in maintaining your posture and metabolic activity. The soleus muscle, often overlooked, is instrumental in keeping your metabolism engaged while seated. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of the soleus muscle, exploring its significance in enabling active sitting and sustaining metabolic health.
Understanding the Soleus Muscle
The soleus muscle is situated in the calf, beneath the larger gastrocnemius muscle. It forms part of the posterior leg muscles and plays a crucial role in ankle movement and stability. Despite being less noticeable than other leg muscles, the soleus is essential for various functional movements, including walking, standing, and maintaining posture.
Role in Active Sitting
When seated, especially for prolonged periods, the soleus muscle remains active to provide stability and support to the lower leg. Active sitting involves subtle movements and contractions of muscles, including the soleus, to maintain posture and prevent stiffness. By engaging the soleus through minor adjustments in foot positioning or heel lifting while seated, you activate this muscle, stimulating blood circulation and enhancing metabolic activity.
Metabolic Benefits of Active Sitting
Active sitting involves incorporating small movements and muscle engagements while seated, which can have several metabolic benefits:
Enhanced Blood Circulation: Engaging the soleus muscle and other muscles through subtle movements promotes blood flow, preventing pooling and stagnation, which is common during prolonged sitting.
Increased Caloric Expenditure: Though subtle, these movements activate muscles and slightly elevate metabolic activity, contributing to increased calorie burning compared to static sitting.
Improved Posture and Core Activation: Active sitting promotes better posture and engages core muscles, contributing to a more stable and toned midsection over time.
Tips for Incorporating Active Sitting
To engage the soleus muscle and other supportive muscles while seated, consider the following tips:
Foot Positioning: Alternate between flat feet and raising heels slightly while sitting.
Calf Raises: Perform discreet calf raises by lifting your heels off the ground while seated.
Ankle Flexions: Rotate your ankles and perform gentle flexions and extensions to activate the calf muscles.
Periodic Stretching and Movement Breaks: Take short breaks to stand, stretch, or walk around to prevent stiffness and promote circulation.
Importance of Movement Throughout the Day
While active sitting can be beneficial, it’s crucial to remember that regular movement throughout the day is essential for overall health. Incorporate standing, walking, and physical activity into your routine to complement active sitting for optimal metabolic health.
The often-overlooked soleus muscle plays a crucial role in maintaining metabolic activity and stability while seated. By engaging in active sitting techniques that involve subtle movements and muscle engagements, especially of the soleus muscle, you can enhance blood circulation, boost metabolism, and promote better overall health, even during prolonged periods of sitting.
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