Unfortunately, we all sit for long periods of time daily, more than our bodies are meant to anyway! I work in fitness and wellness and I still manage to sit for long periods of time at my computer. The way business is run and the increasing need to be on social media these days, make it inevitable.
I’m sure our ancestors would shake their heads in disapproval if they saw just how many hours our poor bodies are subjected to sitting, but we don’t have to have a complacent attitude about it, there is a lot that can be done to counterbalance all that sitting.
- At the top of course, is exercise. Movement of any kind is what the body craves, even if you don’t feel like it. Sitting for long hours makes us lazy! But you must resist it, and get moving. Getting up to walk for a few minutes every 90min or so, or going for a walk on your lunch hour makes a world of difference.
Of course, basic movement is just the beginning. Once walking has become a routine, it’s time to incorporate some strength training. The right program will not only help you build strength, but also decrease your incidence of injury and encourage better posture at your desk.
- Sitting for long periods of time places incredible pressure on the neck, shoulders, back, and hips and encourages forward posture, hip imbalances and knee pain, so stretching and deep myofascial release is essential.
Not only is releasing tight areas important to avoid bad posture and general well being, but also to be able to get the most out of your workouts. Tight hips for example, lead to compensation down the chain and make it hard for the gluteus maximus to fire when they should. So if you’re motivated by achieving a shapely butt at the gym, then embrace myofascial release. In this past blog post I give you a few to begin with: Release Tight Areas From Too Much Sitting
- Ladies, consider flexible flat shoes instead of heels. If you love heels, wear them a few times a week, or wear them daily, but only for a few hours and then switch to a pair of flats for the rest of the day. Yes, heels make our legs look great, but they are terrible for our hips and our feet. By wearing them constantly, you are further promoting tightness and imbalance in the hips and back and promoting bunions.
- Incorporate intentional breathing on a daily basis. Stress turns us into shallow breathers, which exacerbates bad posture. By becoming conscious of our breathing we can not only use it as means to distress throughout the day, but also to promote better posture. You can get more tips on better breathing in a past blog I wrote: Breathing For Stability
- Lastly, not from lack of importance, we need to look at how we sit at our desks. We should do all we can to make sure that we are placing as little pressure on our neck, shoulders, back and hips. The image below shows you some great tips for better ergonomics.