Have you ever stopped and thought about how much you sit throughout the day? At the table, at the desk, in the car, on the couch….It’s no wonder why many of us suffer from stiff necks and sore backs. As I talked about in an earlier blog post about the “sitting disease,” sitting for long periods of time has a negative effect on health. Here are four things you can do to keep your sitting in a healthy range.
Set up Your Work Station Properly
Ergonomics is all about setting things up. It’s important that your work space is set up in a comfortable way that minimizes risk of injuries. Ideally, adapt your work station to you; don’t adapt to the work station. Use this guide to get started.
Mind Your Posture
Did your parents often remind you to “sit up straight” and watch your posture? Well, they were right; good posture is important. Here are some basic tips for good posture when sitting:
- Keep your ears in line with your shoulders and hips
- Keep your shoulders back to help keep your spine in a neutral position.
Read this article on protecting your back while sitting for more advice. A little posture goes a long way!
Maintaining your flexibility will help you stay relaxed and more alert, prevent injuries, and improve your posture. These gentle stretches can help, plus they can be done just about anywhere, anytime:
- Stretches for your hip flexor and gluteus muscles
- Stretches for your neck.
- Stretches for your back.
- Stretches for your shoulders.
- Stretches for your wrists and arms.
Stay mobile, and by this we don’t mean talking on your cell phone! Shake things out every 20-30 minutes by getting up and doing a quick stretch or going for a short walk. Also, try to do something active on your lunch break when possible. Moving throughout the day promotes circulation and helps keep optimal muscle length (so that muscles don’t get too tight).
A lot of us spend the majority of our day sitting. But you can stay refreshed, limber, and healthy by paying a bit more attention to your posture and making sure you move around throughout the day. What do you do to combat sitting disease? Let us know @HealthyFamilyBC and @TeamPAL.