Solutions for Prolonged Sitting - A Pilates Perspective
Nov 18, 2018
Everyone has heard the negative publicity surrounding long periods of sitting which has been declared to be more detrimental to our health than smoking. Research has linked it to everything from obesity and diabetes to heart disease and everything in between.
With so many of us in sedentary desk jobs, how do we counteract this by-product of the Information age?
Human beings are designed to move and if I ever needed evidence of this, I don't need to look any further than the many clients I have assessed over the years and seen firsthand the effects of prolonged sitting on their bodies.
In general and to varying degrees, posture is compromised with a forward head position and rounded shoulders leading to poor alignment of the shoulder joints leaving them susceptible to injury. The chest is compressed which restricts the diaphragm and inhibits breathing. Hip flexors become tight and shortened and the glutes switch off leaving the lower back vulnerable often resulting in back pain. I could keep going, but what are some solutions?
Check You Have The Best Possible Set-Up
If possible have a professional check the positioning of your computer and chair to preserve your posture, unlike the man pictured who is slumped over the laptop in poor posture. Make sure the set up allows you to sit so your feet are flat are on the floor, knees equal to or slightly lower than your hips. Keep your back straight, sitting tall, and sitting to the back of the chair which should be supportive. Avoid crossing your legs. Elbows should be close to your sides and place the monitor in such a position that the first line of text is at eye level.
Find Reasons to Move Away From Your Desk
Aim to get up and move every 30 - 45 mins. Try setting an alarm on your computer to remind you. Place your printer walking distance away from your desk so you are forced to get up and move. Any incidental movement such as walking across the room to look out a window and back all helps to improve circulation and prevent your body from shutting down and will keep your energy levels up too.
Try to incorporate walking to and from work. If you drive, park further away than necessary and if you use public transport take the long way to your office and choose the stairs over the lift if possible.
Use Your Lunch Break to Move
Many workplaces are providing lunchtime classes in Pilates or Yoga or alternatively you could subscribe to my Online Pilates Membership
Site and follow the Online Program. Keep a mat at work and as most of the videos are around 10 minutes in length you could fit in 2 or 3 videos during this time. A brisk 20 minute walk is also a great option, just make sure you change into supportive walking shoes.
These are just some of the ways in which you can improve your overall health and wellbeing while in a sedentary job. You may actually find your productivity will increase when you break up the periods of prolonged sitting with movement. Experiment with some of these options and see what works best for you. Your body will thank you for it!
I'm pleased to announce JS Mind Body Pilates is now listed in the
Top 75 Pilates Blogs at No: 24!