Sitting and standing needs to be done for a variety of tasks every day including getting in and out of a car, up and down from a chair and on and off of the toilet. Going from a standing position to sitting then standing again seems like it happens without even thinking about how to move but it is more complicated than you think!
What Muscles Are Used to Go From Sitting to Standing?
There are many areas in your body that need to be functioning properly for you to be able to move from a sitting to a standing position. From the muscles in your toes all of the way up to the muscles in your head and neck plus the electrical impulses and chemical activity between your brain, spinal cord and muscles.
There are more than 600 muscles attached to your skeleton and many are involved in moving from a sitting to a standing position including:
- Leg muscles - The largest muscles of your upper leg (hamstrings and quadriceps) and your calf muscles (gastrocnemius)
- Abdominal muscles - Often referred to as your "core"
- Buttock muscles - Gluteus maximus which is the largest muscle in the human body
- Spinal muscles - Help support your spine
You would use your arm muscles and shoulder muscles if arms rests are being used to help push up to get to a standing position. Also, depending on the positioning of your body and the seat height, your chest muscles may be activated.
Body mechanics used to go from sitting to standing can be affected if there are no armrests or if the seat height is low. A low seat can make it more difficult to stand up and your muscles will have to work harder. If there are no armrests to push up from, standing will require increased muscle activation and strength.
What Can I Do If Moving From Sitting to Standing Is Difficult?
As people age, have an accident, surgery or just become frail and deconditioned over time, moving from a sitting to a standing position can become very difficult. Fortunately, there are devices and home modifications that can be made to assist.
- Difficulty getting up and down from the toilet - A raised toilet seat or 3 in one commode with a grab bar can help make getting up and down from the toilet easier.
- It is impossible to get up and down from a chair - A lift chair can smoothly take you from a sitting to a standing position and back to sitting with the touch of a button.
- If you don't feel steady stepping in and out of the shower - Grab bars can be installed in your shower to provide a stable surface to hold onto when stepping in and out. Also, a shower chair will allow you to sit while bathing.
Bell House Medical (home of the Master Grab Bar) can install a raised toilet seat, 3 in one commode, grab bars or deliver a lift chair. Plus, we offer many other devices to help make your life easier and retain more independence. Check out our website or visit our store in Lewes!