10 Ways to Reverse the Damage of Sitting
1. Stop Sitting
2. Stop Sitting
3. Stop Sitting
4. Stop Sitting
5. Stop Sitting
6. Stop Sitting
7. Stop Sitting
8. Stop Sitting
9. Stop Sitting
10. Stop Sitting
Although that would be the most effective solution...it's not very realistic in today's lifestyle.
The butt, core (lowback, obliques, abs), midsection, hips of the human body are not meant to be weight bearing areas, they are meant for dynamic motion. Using them as weight bearing joints teaches the body to stop moving those areas. This is a big contributing factor as to why most people have issues engaging muscles/losing weight in those areas. So if we have to sit how can we help ourselves?
1. Use a chair that fits you!!!
Most look for large, powerful "captain" chairs. Although they may look intimidating they lack a lot of function despite the numerous adjustments that can be made. Make sure the seat pad is large enough to carry your derrière but small enough to allow your knees to comfortably keep your knee angle at 90 degrees.
2. Sit in the very back of your seat. Wedge your Sit Bones (Ischial Tuberosities) in the back of the seat, this will allow your hips to load your spine as ergonomically as possible. For most, we sit on our tailbone forcing our spine to round out in ways it can hurt us, It's for these reasons that we see teenagers in our office nowadays with back and neck pain.
Although much more comfortable, this position can still only be maintained for about 20 minutes or so, which leads us to...
3. Move every 20-30 minutes. The moment you feel you want to slouch out of the position we recommend in #2, get up, move, do some simple stretches, whatever you can to break up the monotony. Using a fit bit, apple watch or other electronic reminder is a great way to start the habit. After a few weeks, your body will begin to go into that routine on its own.
4. Transition from seated to standing every hour. Standing desks are becoming a hot topic and rightfully so! But the human body will still have trouble standing for extended periods of time. Therefore the most ideal situation is to transition between sitting and standing every hour or so. There are plenty of ways to accomplish this set up without a $2k desk. Using well supported shelves, desk additions can be some creative solutions.
5. Use an ergo mat when standing. Topomat is a great solution. These mats help keep your body moving from one position to another. The idea is to keep moving, as subtle as that movement needs to be.
6. Foam roll! Quads, Inside of your thighs (adductors), Glutes.
Most people focus on the tiny muscles in their back when they feel back pain. Typically, we find those muscles are strained because they've been stretched all day while the muscles on the front side of the body have been contracted all day (while seated/standing).
http://www.fhschiro.com/#!videos/crcec Under "Lower Body Mobility"
7. Couch stretch or some other hip flexor stretch variation. The idea here is to open the muscles located around your front pocket, be sure to extend thru your HIP JOINT not your waist. If you feel pain in your spine when doing this, squeeze your core. If it's not relieved by squeezing your core see your chiropractor.
8. Bridges. This exercise helps engage the muscles you've been stretching out all day (while seated/standing) and helps stretch out the muscles that have been shortened or tightened all day. Again be sure to push up through your hip joints. If you feel pain in your spine when doing this, squeeze your core. If it's not relieved by squeezing your core see your chiropractor.
9. Snowangels-You're welcome. Do these at the very end!
10. Workout your hips through full range of Motion - Full Squats, Lunges. When it comes to strengthening exercises we want full range of motion of muscles and joints. The amount of reps you get done here is less important than the quality of the repetition. In the office, we use HUDL technique to give our clients immediate feedback on their form and technique. Better to do something properly once than haphazardly 50 times.
11. Workout your Lats with your hips in extension! Do rows and Lat pull-downs off your knees instead of the traditional standing or seated positions. This will help engage the muscles along your spine and backside (posterior chain) to help keep you upright for longer. Seek the aid of a well-informed trainer or movement doctor to be sure your accomplishing the movements to the highest degree of skill.
12. Don't rush into a killer workout right after a full day at the office! Although you may not have had the workout you crave, your body has had a lot of muscle tension building up thru those sitting and standing positions. Be sure to mobilize out of those positions before your workout!
Ok we lied, 12 tips. Each critical and valuable in its own right. When combined together these can keep you moving well for a long time and feeling great because of it!
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