Are you struggling with sitting in your chair all day long – working or attending online classes for school? Our bodies weren’t meant to be sitting around all day. Sitting at a desk and in a chair for many hours can cause many issues from high blood pressure to fat around the waist.
Excessive sitting will cause aches and pains in the back, neck and shoulders. Many therapists will say if you don’t use it, you lose it. This affects all ages – no one is exempt from these pains. Motion is lotion for your joints and body.
Ever say ok I have been sitting here all day – let me go mow the lawn? After moving the lawn, you cannot get up or move around. Why? Because you haven’t conditioned your body to do that much sitting or that much physically demanding work.
The human body is engineered for movement — and lots of it! We handle stress and feel better when we move well and often. You need to change positions frequently to oxygenate your tissues, lubricate your joints and allow areas that have been working to take a break. It’s important to rest in between work periods.
If your job/classes require you to be at your desk for long stretches, you should take a break from sitting every 30 minutes. That might mean making up excuses to get up out of your chair. You can try:
- Marching in place while standing in front of your screen if you can
- Working from a high table or counter for part of the day
- Stretch your arms, legs, hands and feet
- Desk or chair exercises
What exercises can you do?
You need to lubricate your joints and stretch your muscles throughout the day. Movement keeps you limber, and when the time comes to do more physical work, your muscles and joints are ready for the challenge.
There are many types of exercises that you can do while sitting at a desk or by using a standard office chair. Low back and neck pain are the most common problems suffered by people who sit at a desk all day, every day. Here are a few easy exercises you can do:
Seated Forward Bend
Sit with your knees together and your feet flat on the floor. Breathe in. As you breathe out, slowly bend forward over your knees, rounding your shoulders. Let your arms dangle at your sides and hold the pose for three breaths.
Do an entire core workout from the comfort of your chair. Perform 10 repetitions each of crunch kicks, side-to-side knee swipes, knee-to-elbows, leg raises, cycling crunches and sitting twists.
Place your right hand on your left knee. Rotate your belly, shoulders and neck, looking over your left shoulder. Hold the twist for a few seconds and then repeat on the other side.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Sitting sideways on a stable chair, move your right leg back behind you. Tuck your buttocks in underneath your hips. Stretch the front of your right hip and upper thigh just until you feel a gentle pull and hold it. Sit sideways facing the opposite direction to repeat the exercise on your left leg.
Marching in Place
Stand up with your feet slightly apart and your arms at your sides. March in place, lifting your knees up, trying to touch the ceiling. Do this 20 times.
After completing these exercises, your muscles should feel fresh and loose. And you’ll feel re-energized for the rest of your day!
*Parents these exercises are safe for children as young age 7 to do!