Living an anti-sitting lifestyle is difficult, and sometimes you can't get away from work due to early mornings, late evenings, or lack of energy or time to exercise before or after work. They go straight from the car to the office chair, back to the car and home to bed or the couch.
That is a lot of sitting, which can damage our health and posture. For a while it was thought that sitting was the new smoking. The thought may be a bit extreme, but sitting too much has significant effects on your health. A 2010 paper from the American Cancer Society published in the American Journal of Epidemiology states that women who were inactive for six hours a day were 94% more likely to die from complications from obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Also, men who were inactive for six hours a day were 48% more likely to die than their standing counterparts.
Pretty devastating, right? But wait, there's more. Sitting too much during the workday can also lead to poor posture.
THE ATTITUDE THING
Sitting too much during the workday and looking at cell phones, tablets and computers while at work are the main causes of the dreaded text neck (head position forward) and the round shoulder gaze. Trust me when I say this isn't everyone's best look.
Being in this pose without regularly going to the gym or sitting upright causes the upper back muscles to become weak and inhibited, resulting in a loss of upper body strength and flexibility. Studies have shown that forward head and shoulder posture is associated with tension headaches and decreased lung capacity, which can lead to problems breathing in and out of air.
Granted, this doesn't happen overnight, but it's something to keep in mind if you're too sedentary and too busy to hit the gym. This is when you need to bring the gym to you.
WHAT IS THE GREAT ABOUT STANDING MORE AT WORK?
A study by Carrie Schmitz, senior manager at Ergotron, claims that if you stood an extra three hours a day instead of sitting, you could burn over 30,000 calories in a year — or about 8 pounds of fat. t too shabby to just pick your butt out of a chair.
Standing more at work will help your core strength, posture and balance, but don't go crazy. Standing too much can cause leg fatigue and back problems as gravity constantly acts on the spine.
So let's combine the calorie-burning power and health benefits of standing with a routine that will keep you on track when you don't have time for your usual workout.
THE ANTI-SITTING WORKOUT ROUTINE TO GET YOU OUT OF YOUR OFFICE CHAIR
By using your body weight and maybe adding a resistance band or two to stash in your desk, you can get in a short workout while getting a few weird looks from your co-workers. Don't worry about what they think because you are great and proactive about your health.
Let's start with a simple warm-up that you can do at your desk if you prefer, in your work clothes.
- Crocodile Breathing: 6 repetitions
Lie face down with your hands under your head. Breathe in and out deeply into your abdomen.
Lie on your back with your knees over your hips and your hands over your shoulders. Extend your right leg forward and your left hand back as you exhale. Then repeat on the other side, holding alternately for 6 reps on each side.
- Hip Extensions with Reach: 5 repetitions on each side
Lie on your back with your feet on the floor and your arms beside you. Perform a hip extension and grab the left side of the floor with your right hand. Then come down and back up and repeat the reach on the other side.
- Six-Point Swings:10 repetitions
Start on your hands, knees and toes with your head held high. Rock your butt towards your heels and then back to the starting position. Repeat for 10 reps.
- Half-kneeling hip flexor stretch: 30 seconds on each side
Start in a half-kneeling position with your knee under your hip and your ankle under your knees. Squeeze your butt, breathe normally for 30 seconds on each side, and repeat on the opposite side.
FIVE ANTI-SITTING EXERCISES YOU CAN DO AT YOUR DESK
Here's a five-exercise circuit you can do at your desk to help you stay in that straight and tight position while undoing some of the damage from sitting. Depending on the time, two to four rounds are enough.