Stretches To Counteract The Effects Of Sitting

Sitting all day has been considered to be more bad for your health than smoking. Not that we are advocating smoking, but those are two things we have to be weary of during these coronavirus lockdowns. Our lungs need to be unclogged to provide the oxygen to breathe and our muscles also need to be unclogged. 

Since most of our work is online and zoom calls have taken over our schedules, we find that we are sitting all day. This makes our glutes stiff. Our glutes act as the middleman between our upper and lower bodies, when our glutes are stiff, the rest of our body’s muscles start to shut down too. 

Ever wondered why sitting all day makes your upper back and neck stiff? Of course, this has to do with our posture and that is defined by the way we sit. But strengthening our glutes can alleviate upper back pain. 

There are some easy ways we can put less stress on our glutes, while working from home. Things like treadmill desks are great to keep you moving. But one simple way is to get a standing desk. This needn’t be a big investment money-wise or space wise. You can fashion one by placing a stool on an existing desk and work off of that. 

Here is someone who put an upside down laundry basket on their dining table to make it a more ergonomic height.

Another easy hack is to use a yoga ball instead of a chair. This engages your core muscles while sitting and keeps your slouching shoulders in check. 

If none of these work, set a reminder for yourself to do these easy stretches. It won’t take you more than ten minutes, and you can do it every couple of hours or so. It beats finding the time for a one hour workout in the middle of our hectic work from home schedules. 

Start Easy And Touch your Toes

You don’t actually have to be able to reach your toes. But stretch a little. Try. Feel the stretch in your hamstrings. Stretch your arms up towards the sky and reach back down again. You’ll notice you are getting closer to your toes with each stretch. 

Open Up Your Chest

Stretches To Counteract The Effects Of Sitting

Hold your hands behind your back and pull your shoulders back. You’ll feel your chest open up and your shoulder blades pinching together. Hold this stretch for about ten seconds and release. Repeat a few times. 

Roll forward

Bend down from your waist and cross your arms. Feel your upper body fall freely forwards. Sway slowly from side to side. Close your eyes, you’ll find this also has a very calming effect. Stay in this position for about 10 seconds. 

Move Into Downward Dog

Downward dog is a great stretch to simultaneously stretch the muscles on your legs and your back. Try pushing your head lower into the middle of your shoulders. You’ll feel your shoulders get a nice stretch. At the same time try touching your heel to the ground. You’ll feel the entire back of your legs stretching. 

Move Into Upward Dog

From downward dog, come into a plank position, do a push up and then move into upward dog. The entire front of your body stretches, like your stomach and diaphragm that you have been stressing by slouching all day. Repeat the upward, downward dog sequence five times.

Sitting Lunges

Put one knee on the ground and stretch the other knee in a 90 degree angle into a lunge in front of you. Tilt your upper body forward. You can rest your arms on your knees so you can get a deeper stretch. You should be able to feel your hip flexors opening up. Repeat this stretch on both sides about five times. 

Leg Swings

When you can back in a standing position, swing your legs from front to back. Then raise your leg off the floor, to the side and make small circles in the air. Pulse your leg in this position for about 10 small circles. Then pulse in the opposite direction. Do this on both legs about five times. 

Twists

You are ready to sit back down and start working again now. Sit in your chair, preferably with a backrest, and twist your upper body. Rest one hand on the backrest and your alternate hand on your opposite knee. Feel your spine stretching. Repeat on the other side. 

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