Most humans are sedentary workers, spending long hours of the day seated down. Research has shown that about 9.5 hours are spent daily in the sitting posture. When compared to the about 7.5 hours, humans sleep, it shows that a lot of hours are spent sitting.
Let’s see how your day looks like.
You go to work using a car or the train, or bus. Once you enter your office, you quickly sit and start reading your emails, listening to voicemails, or flipping through the unfinished works of the previous day. You may then go for meetings, where you still sit down, or be on a conference call, still seated.
You may then go for a lunch break. You eat and gossip a little with friends. All these are done sitting. Once the day ends, you commute back home seated throughout. Immediately you get home, you toss off your clothes, and lean on your soft couch.
This means that a lot of hours are spent on the sedentary position. One hour on the elliptical will not help you remedy it. The sedentary lifestyles of a lot of people have greatly increased the obesity tendency in many.
Sedentary lifestyle can even increase the risk of heart diseases. That’s why adding more activity to your day may help. If you spice your work day with tiny intervals of exercise, you may lose up to 20 pounds.
Do you sit well?
Though we spend a lot of hours seated, we also are sitting wrongly. To prevent backaches and the stiff neck, it is important to correct your sitting posture. A lot of us are not sitting well. Most times while seated, a lot of us crane our heads forward and even slouch a lot.
Our heads are normally heavy for the neck, craning them further will prevent them from being aligned to the spine. This way our heads become heavier.
While seated, many exercises, tiny ones, can be introduced into our routine for the day.
Before doing the exercises, let’s address the sitting posture more. Craning your head constantly, reduces the nerves, which then has the headache aftermath at your skull’s bottom. Your head moves extremely off its alignment, which then leads to aches and even fatigues. It can lead to worse ailments like arthritis, sciatic nerve pain, asthma, and even disc compression.
Ensure that the seat you spend the sedentary position in is the right height for you, to reduce the back strain, and that of the neck.
While seated, ensure your feet are flat on the ground, while your hips and knees are maintained at a 90-degree angle.
Let your lower back press back against the seat to promote good posture. To stop craning, move your monitor till your eyes can reach the top one-third of the monitor.
Stretch at Your Desk
Before you start the exercises, stretch. The stretching will ensure you work better and feel good while you work or exercise.
This can be likened to yoga while sitting on your desk.
1. Rubber Neck
Sit straight, then move your right ear until it gets close to your right shoulder.
Hold that position for few seconds, before doing it for your left side.
2. Move Your Head
Move your head to the right, then try to hold a position where you look over for your shoulder for seconds. Repeat it for your next side.
3 Aim For The Ceiling
Link your fingers, then aim them to the sky. Let them be raised as high as possible. When this is done, ensure your palms are facing towards your ceiling.
While sitting, let your shoulders be raised towards your ears. Keep this position for a few seconds. Do it continuously for a while.
Let your chin move towards your chest, while you move your head from a side to the other.
6. Sit up straight
Sit up straight, then move your hands at your back. Ensure they are pressed together. Do this for up to ten seconds.
7. Fold your leg
While you are seated, fold your leg until it’s a bent knee, then move the bent knee until it is close to your chest. Grab the bent knee with your arms. Keep this position for up to ten seconds. Continue it at the left side.
8. Extend hand and leg
While seated straight, move your right hand to the ceiling. Extend your left leg until it is straight, then raise it, while you move your right arm to feel your left foot. Keep the position for about ten seconds.
9. Move your ankles
Doing this extends your glutes. Move your right ankle towards your left knee, then try to move both to press your right knee. Repeat it a couple of times.
Repeat the process for your left side too.
10. Move arm above your head
Move your right arm slightly above your head, and try to move it as far as it can go to the left side, then try to bend down.
Do this for few seconds, then halt.
The Main Exercises
After the stretching, you can decide to advance to the main exercise.
1. In Place Moving
Try and walk or jog in a place for about five times, and each time should span for about 45 seconds.
This is very simple. Stand while doing this. You can do it at the pace you want. If you want to take it up a notch, while you walk, run or jog, bring your knees to your waist.
The thought of getting on the floor of the office that is trampled upon by many shoes may make you screw your nose in disgust. There are alternatives if you are not cool with that. You can do them on your desk’s edge or the wall.
When doing it against the wall, ensure the wall is sturdy, and not a cubicle one.
3. Do squats
This can be done in your office by standing up, then sitting back. Do this continuously until when satisfied.
4 Imaginary Skipping
Try to pretend like you are jumping. Jump and fall on both feet at the same time. Move your arms like you are skipping an imaginary rope.
5. Raise Your Calf
Get up and move behind your chair, then lean on it for support. After that, raise your heels until you are on your toes. Gently move yourself to the ground.
Nick is a contributing writer for Get Back Into Fitness, sharing tips on health and wellness