In addition to wanting to move more all day and exercise regularlythere are a few other things you can look out for all day long when you're sitting a lot. Keep reading for tips from physical therapists and professional fitness trainers on how to counteract the negative effects of sitting throughout the day.
How Long Sitting Affects Your Body
We know that after a long day sitting down (whether you're at the computer or in a car or on a plane), you can feel stiff, tired, and simple bla . But what exactly happens when we sit for a long time?
According to Dr. Erin Policelli, PT, DPT and Founder of Stretch Kinetics, sitting longer is bad news as it can tighten your hip flexors and cause back pain. "The hip flexors adhere to the front of the lumbar spine, pelvis and femur, so tightening them will result in a constant load on your back," said Policelli. This also has a domino effect and can affect the pelvis, the chest and the diaphragm and weaken the gluteal muscles.
"An important function of the gluteal muscles is to provide stability to the pelvis and lower back, and if they do not work, will further stress the back and increase the strain on the thighs as they try to help," said Policelli. "Longer sitting leads to myofascial tension, joint malposition, muscle weakness and general instability culminating in pain and dysfunction."
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One of the biggest complaints of people sitting at the desk a lot is the upper body tension. Many people (including myself!) Have tensions in the upper body, neck, and shoulders when they spend a lot of time typing or curling over a computer screen or phone. Luckily, there are a few tips you can follow while sitting to improve your posture and body alignment.
Evan Breed is a master trainer in P.volve, a practice that includes exercises inspired by physiotherapy.
Tips for better posture while sitting at a desk
- Breed recommends keeping your feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart when sitting, and not crossing your knees or ankles for better alignment.
- Keep the spine as straight as possible (against the chair or a pillow) and keep it at the neck length.
- Relax your shoulders as you type and hold your elbows at a 90-degree angle to the ribs.  Try alternating with a standing desk, or use an ergonomic chair like a yoga ball.
Which exercises help best to counteract sitting?
If you sit all day, you probably know that you should move more. One way to ensure this is to take regular breaks. You can set a timer on your phone to alert you to get up at least once per hour (Breed recommends taking a 10-minute break to get up and move for each hour you sit). If you have anyou can use the stand function, which asks you to get up and moving every hour and keep track of when you get up.
Because your buttock muscles tend to sleep in a chair Pollicelli says one of the best things you can do is focus on strengthening them during exercise. But you do not even have to go to the gym to work on these muscles. She recommends making glute squeezes at her desk to activate the muscles.
"While this does not contribute to a strong boost, it helps to raise awareness of those muscles that can go a long way to make sure the neuro-pathways work. The connection between these muscles and your brain remains good Neuro connections are important to ensure that we use our muscles properly during training and daily work, "said Pollicelli.
Exercises for the whole day at the desk
1. Chest opener
"Sitting high, feet hip-width on the floor, hands folded behind the head and elbows wide, lift the spine and look up to the ceiling, returning the weight of the head back to your hands . Shut down." the elbows, then gently around the upper spine to stretch the neck. Repeat this five times, "said Breed.
2nd dog down
" Push in your hands and feet, hands shoulder-width, feet hip-width. Bend your knees and lift your hips. Extend your coccyx upwards and release the crown of your head. This can lengthen your spine. "Molly Rice, a yoga teacher at the Y7 Studio, said that after sitting, your vertebrae must decompress throughout the day.
. 3 Rag Doll Fold
"Bend your knees from standing and fold your hips forward, placing your weight in the balls of your foot and dropping your head hard to release the muscles that line the neck and lower back That's great. " "This will allow you to bring fresh blood into your brain and release compression and stagnation from sitting," Rice said.
. 4 Half Knee Length
"Begin at half a knee, tilt your pelvis backwards (push your lower back flat) and inhale, shift your body weight forward as you exhale, I urge the patient to Think of an X on the front of the hip Imagine pushing this X forward without your back arching, "Policelli said.
. 5 Spine Twists
"Sit up and place your feet hip-width on the floor, lift them up through the spine and twist them, keeping the core taut, using chair arms to gently support the rotation 5 seconds Hold down and repeat on the other side Repeat five times, "said Reed.