Hip Pain From Sitting

Sitting is the most common sedentary behavior in adults and can not only lead to negative health outcomes but can cause our tissues to adapt to this position which in turn can lead to poor posture and movement dysfunction.

In sitting, the hip is flexed to about 90 degrees causing tightness or strain on the hip flexor if stuck in this position for extended periods of time. This can cause a pain or pulling sensation in the front of your hip when getting out of your chair, climbing stairs, or walking on uneven surfaces. Sitting for prolonged periods of time can also change the alignment of the lumbar spine and therefore increase the load on the spine.

There are various causes to hip pain from sitting although a tight hip flexor is the most common. Another common cause is poor posture as this can lead to straining of the muscles and ligament around the hip and lumbar spine leading to pain and discomfort. Sitting can also exacerbate sciatica causing discomfort in the hips and legs.

Things you can do at your desk to prevent hip pain include being aware of your posture. Sit with your feet flat avoiding crossing your legs or leaning to one side. Keep your head in a neutral position with your shoulders relaxed and back straight. Try and stand up to move around every 30 minutes to stretch or walk! Investing in an ergonomic chair and standing desk is also a great way to prevent potential injuries.

If you are experiencing hip pain from extended periods of sitting, it is best to consult a physical therapist or healthcare professional to help you diagnose the cause of the pain and create an appropriate treatment plan to decrease your symptoms.


Boukabache A, Preece SJ, Brookes N. Prolonged sitting and physical inactivity are associated with limited hip extension: A cross-sectional study. Musculoskelet Sci Pract. 2021;51:102282. doi:10.1016/j.msksp.2020.102282

Alshehri MA, van den Hoorn W, Klyne DM, Hodges PW. Coordination of hip and spine in individuals with acute low back pain during unstable sitting. Spine J. Published online December 9, 2023. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2023.12.001

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