Do you spend long periods sitting down?
On the computer? On the phone? Maybe driving?
Most of us are aware (hopefully) that this has a negative effect on our posture and comfort levels within our body, but did you ever wonder WHY?
Let me give you just a few reasons why SITTING for prolonged periods can be so detrimental to your alignment:
– Sitting puts the most pressure/compression/load on your spine out of all the functional positions (more than standing!)
– It can weaken the glutes (the muscles you’re sitting on for so long) which then, in turn, do not support the back
– It can shorten/tighten the hip flexors (muscles at the front of your hip) again, leading to hip/back pain
– Poor posture leads to rounded shoulders and spine, tight pecs, a ‘forward neck’ posture
Do you ever feel tight neck, shoulders, back, hips? Headaches? Aches and pains?
Yep, this can all be a result of sitting too long.
So, what to do about it?
I created this little 5-minute RESET, to stretch the common culprits and give your posture a little love.
You can watch the 5 min video here for the full demo, otherwise, I’ve outlined the process below!
1. Neck Stretches
How: Sit/stand tall with your shoulders relaxed. Tilt your ear towards your shoulder, gently drawing your shoulder downwards to increase the stretch, hold 20 secs, continue breathing. On the second round, turn and look towards the floor, hold 20 seconds, continue breathing.
2. Shoulder Rolls
How: Sit/stand tall. Lift your shoulders as high as you can and circle them around, exaggerating the movement to get a full range. Two big slow circles in each direction.
3. Protraction/Retraction, Flexion/Extension
How: Sit/stand tall. Clasp your hands together and reach them in front of you, rounding your shoulders and back (push your hands forward and draw your ribs back in the opposite direction), try and keep your shoulders away from your ears. Hold 30secs. Repeat in the opposite direction, reaching behind you and opening through your chest, hold 30 secs.
3. Mermaid plus Upper Trap Stretch
How: Sit tall. Lift up and lean over to the side into a lateral stretch with the top arm reaching over your head. Keep both sit bones grounded and relax your shoulders away from your ears. Return to the centre and repeat to another side.
On the second round, stay over to the side, keep your head down and reach your fingertips away from your head, palm towards the floor. Keep the hand reaching away until your fingertips are reaching toward the floor to find your upper trap stretch (keeping your head heavy)tr76hq1á 1. Then come back to the centre and repeat for the other side.
4. Hip Flexor Stretch plus Glute Activation
How: From standing, step one foot approx 30cms in front of the other, feet pointing forwards. Tuck your pelvis under (pubic bone to belly button) and press your back hip forwards slightly. Squeeze your back glute firmly. Hold for 30 secs. Repeat on the other side.
You can repeat this process every hour that you’re sitting. I hope that it brings you some relief!
If you’ve got a friend, co-worker or loved one who sits for long periods, share this article with them! It might be that little bit of relief they’re looking for 🙂
If you would like to see more workouts like the one attached to this blog plus videos on Pilates, yoga, mindfulness, health tutorials, recipes and more, then you can access a free 7 day trial of our Online Community here.
Please note: This information is intended to help inform and increase your awareness, however, it is not designed to replace an individualised assessment from your chosen health care professional to ensure you get the correct information for you. Please get in touch if you would like more personalised support in this area.