Have you heard the new adage “sitting is the new smoking”?
Being sedentary decreases circulation, deceases your metabolism, negatively affects blood sugar, and increases the likelihood of muscles aches, pains, and trigger points. Plus, sitting — especially when done mindlessly — wreaks havoc on posture; it is almost impossible to sit for long periods without becoming slightly rounded forward. Last, the more time you spend sitting the less you are moving — getting your 10,000 steps per day is nearly impossible if you are chained to your desk all day.
We all sit way too much!! We need to sit less and move more!
Now, I get it. For most of us some amount of sitting is a necessary evil, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to mitigate the damage!
Seated core work
- Make a commitment to break up the time you spend sitting. Walk with a friend at lunch, take the stairs, or go for a walking talk with a co-worker instead of phoning or emailing them. Aim to accumulate 10,000 steps per day.
- Set an alarm to remind yourself to get up and walk around or to do an “office friendly” pro-posture exercise. Two of my favourite “office friendly” pro-posture exercises are seated core work and wall Y to W’s.
: A strong core will help you maintain proper posture. Start by bringing your bum close to the edge of your chair. Keep your back straight and lean roughly 10 degrees backwards. Hold for 10 seconds to a minute.
Wall Y to W’s
: Stand with your bum and back against a wall. Core engaged, legs shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and feet roughly half a foot in front of the wall. Your lower back should be neutral, which means you should be able to fit your fingers, but not your entire hand, between your lower spine and the wall. Form a W with your arms against the wall. Keep your arms as close to the wall as you can as you straighten them until they form a Y with your body. Make sure your spine stays neutral. It shouldn’t arch as you move your arms, even if that means the backs of your hands move away from the wall. Return your arms back to the W position and repeat five to 10 times.
Take the colour challenge
. Pick a colour to use as your “mindfulness trigger.” Your mission is to watch for your chosen colour throughout your day. When you notice it, take a moment to assess your posture. Check if your ears, shoulders, and hips are stacked over top of each other. If your body is not aligned properly — which is the case for most of us — sit or stand up straight to draw your shoulders and head back