Sounds a little dramatic doesn’t it? However, there is a growing body of research into the detrimental effects of sitting for long periods of time. From a medical perspective studies show an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, obesity and even cancer (according to the Mayo Clinic). From a physical or exercise perspective sitting tightens muscles, messes with our posture and greatly diminishes athletic performance.
Unfortunately many of us have little choice in the matter when it comes to time spent in a chair, as our jobs often require just that. So what can you do about it if you have to be at a desk or in a car for hours on end? While going to the gym at the end of the day or regular exercise is great for you it is not actually a remedy for sitting induced issues, sorry.
Ideally for every 30 minutes of sitting get up and move for 4 minutes. Any movement is good, stretching out the areas that become restricted from sitting is great. These body parts include glutes, hip flexors, thoracic spine, hamstrings, quads (you get the idea it’s a lot).
This article will be the first in a series of posts on how to ease the trauma on the body. The first offering is a fantastic hip flexor (quads and psoas) opener. It may or may not be possible to do at the office but it is a definite for home……you can even do it on the couch! My students “love” it when I add it to a yoga class too.
As per the photo, one shin is against the back rest of the couch (you could use a wall or desk too) with the knee grounded. The other leg is out front to help support you and provide pressure, the front foot could be on the couch or the floor. The idea is to push the buttocks and back against the back rest or wall with the bent leg heel sitting outside the hip. Remember to breathe, hold for up to 2 minutes and make sure you do both sides.
Feel free to ask me any questions or let me know how you go, find me at www.aloka.com.au