So by now you get the idea that sitting is bad for you in many ways. This is the final piece in the series and I have thrown three moves into the article.
The first is a simple spinal twist that many people do by instinct anyway. It feels great and the best part is it helps keep your spine healthy! Your spine is designed to move forward, backward, sideways and to twist / rotate. Ask most Osteopaths and Chiropractors and they will tell you that you are only as young as your spine is flexible. A healthy spine is one of the keys to optimal health and vitality.
Remember the goal of the twist is to move the ribs and torso in the opposite direction to the hips. Keeping your hips still on the chair reach the right arm around behind you and grab hold of the back of the chair wherever you can reach. Take the left hand onto the right knee and twist, look over your right shoulder to deepen the twist and make sure you sit up straight as you twist. Hold for 1-1.5minutes then twist to the left.
Sitting on a chair at a desk means we are sitting in just one plane of motion, and it’s the same plane of motion as when we walk, drive, etc. This means the hips get very tight and our range of motion decreases. This affects our hamstrings and lower back, which as we’ve discussed affects everything else. Never underestimate the impact of the fascial connections in the body.
The next pose is a basic hip opener you can do at the desk. Bring the ankle of the right leg above the left knee, leaving the left foot on the ground. Lean forward over the right shin and use your hand or elbow to press the right knee towards the floor as you do. Keep the right ankle flexed to look after your knee. If you are wearing a skirt face the desk and stay close to the desk (I have tried this and it’s possible in most office attire!)
Now we move to one of my favourite stretches to do when I have been stuffed in behind a computer, or in a car, all day. This one is for the neck and upper shoulders and does feel fantastic! The idea is to try to remove that bunching, tensing and upward lift of the shoulders. Often we don’t even realise how much we are tensing here until we do this and release.
The key is to drop the opposite shoulder away from the ear, the hand on the head is just resting there! No need to yank, let your shoulders do the little bit of work here.
Enjoy these little exercises and try to do them every hour while at your desk. Let me know if you feel any better.