Do you have a desk job that requires you to sit all day? If so, your posture and your overall health could be at risk! A recent study has shown that no amount of physical activity and exercise can fight off the dangers associated with sitting all day. Bummer right? In this case, prevention is the best medicine! Here’s how to get out of this “slump”!
Step 1: Simply Sit Less
No duh, right? Although it’s a simple solution, it’s an effective one. One strategy is to purchase a standing desk. Simply cycle between periods of sitting at your desk and standing at your desk. Not within your price range? No worries. Here’s another solution: set a timer to go off every thirty minutes. Every time the alarm sounds, get up and stretch or go for a small stroll for 3-5 minutes. Then get back to work and wait for the next alarm to sound. Long story short – sit less, move more!
Step 2: Do a Posture Check
It’s not just about how long you’re sitting for. How you’re sitting plays a role in your health as well. Next time you’re sitting at your desk, keep these posture cues in mind:
- The height of your chair should allow your feet to rest flat on the floor and your thighs to remain parallel to the floor.
- The chair should support the curves of your spine. If necessary, place a small rolled up towel between your lower back and chair.
- Weight distributed evenly on both hips
- Shoulders should remain back – don’t slump over!
- Computer screen should be at eye level
Step 3: Strengthen
Step three is to strengthen and lengthen the muscles that become weakened and shortened due to sitting.
- Wall Angels: Stand up with your back flat against a wall. Create a “W” shape with your arms by bending your elbows and making your upper arms parallel to the floor. Extend your arms so that they now form a “Y”. Hold for 2 seconds and then bring your arms back into a “w” position. That’s one rep. Do 10-12 reps for 3-4 sets.
- Doorway Stretch: Stand in a doorway and lift your arm so that it is parallel to the ground. Bend your elbow so that your fingers are pointed at the ceiling. Place your hand and forearm on the doorjamb. Lean into your arm that is raised for 20 seconds so that you feel a slight stretch in your pectoral (chest) muscles. Repeat 3 more times and then switch to the other arm.
- Face Pull: At the gym, stand facing a high pulley machine equipped with a rope. The setting of the rope should be placed at eye level or slightly above eye level. Gripping the rope with an overhand grip, pull it toward your face. Separate the rope as it gets closer toward your face. Slowly reverse the motion to starting position. Do 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps.