It has been said that sitting is the new smoking in terms of long term health complications. Unfortunately, there are plenty of work areas that expect an employee to be behind a desk for 8 plus hours a day.
Sitting for this long during the day is deteriorating the body by compressing the spine, causing muscle imbalances, and decreasing overall activity. The unfortunate fact is that even if you exercise outside of your sitting 40 hour per week job, that is still not enough.
Studies have shown that even for those who got exercise at other times of the day, sitting for long periods is still associated with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and death.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
What can we do about this?
Try to be more active at work.
You may have to be creative, but it can be done. Let us look at what you can do if you are in sitting job.
For every 30 minutes you are sitting, you should factor in 5 minutes of standing and stretching. This will prevent some catabolism of muscle.
Below are 5 top stretches you can do from your chair while at work that are effective:
Hip Flexor Stretch: Cross one ankle onto the opposite knee. Gently press down on the knee that is elevated. Now slowly lean forward. You should feel this stretch in the hips and possibly the low back.
Seated Hamstring Stretch: Sit on the edge of the chair and extend one leg straight out with a flexed foot. Slowly lean your chest towards your knee. For an added stretch, reach for your toes or simply lift your toes towards your shin. You should feel the stretch in the calves, hamstrings, and possibly the low back.
Knee Hug: Sit up tall and grab one knee. Bring it towards your chest and hold. You should feel this stretch in your glutes and possibly your lower back.
Diver Stretch: Clasp your hands in front of you and have palms facing towards your body. Extend your arms out. At the same time, round your upper back, acting like you are spreading your shoulder blades apart. As your shoulders press down, your head should dip forward, aiming your chin for your chest. You should feel this stretch in your forearms, shoulders, upper back, and possibly lower back.
Chest Opener Stretch: Clasp your hands behind you with palms facing up. Depress your shoulders and slowly lift your arms out away from your back side. You should feel this stretch in your chest, shoulders, and biceps.
All stretches should be held at a point of mild discomfort for 10-30 seconds. Just remember, keep moving!