You've heard the new phrase, "sitting is the new smoking" right?
Any position for too long can be harmful on your body and can create aches in pains in all areas of your body. I want to give you tips to help eliminate that as much as possible and make sitting at a desk as healthy as possible for your body.
6 Part Strategy for Healthy Desk Sitting
Its important to understand how sitting for extended periods of time can create a problem and how it can affect you. Our bodies do not like to be stuck in the same position for an extended period of time. We are meant to MOVE.
When we sit in the same position for too long we tend to put extra pressure on areas of our body that aren't made to withstand the pressure. Your posture is important and can effect your spine, increase muscle tension, give you headaches, low back pain, neck pain and more.
How you are sitting is extremely important. Proper posture is vital when you sit and work at a desk all day. Its important you get proper training and fit your workstation to YOU.
Your chair needs to fit you, your desk needs to be at the appropriate height for you, your monitor needs to be at a good height so that you are not looking down or to one side. You're keyboard and mouse need to be in good position for your arm length.
These are the details I am trained to think and look at. Simple small changes in how your work station is arranged can make a world of difference on your muscles and joints.
This is where I come in. Depending on your symptoms I think of these things, and point these things out for you to alter to improve our results and decrease the constant aggravation and stress to your body for the best results!
Motion is lotion my friends. Set a timer, every 30-60 minutes to get up and take a break. Sometimes we get so sucked into our work and what we are doing 3 hours rolls around and we haven't moved a muscle. Set a timer. Get up and walk to the bathroom, water fountain, or to a colleagues desk. Set a timer to get up and do some of the stretches we discuss at your appointments. As I said above, our bodies are meant to move, so lets MOVE!
Bonus if you can get your boss to get you a sit to stand desk and alternate from sitting to standing--PSA your chiropractor can write you a prescription for a sit to stand desk if it is a medical necessity (your office is more likely to give you one if its medically necessary and prescribed by a doctor)
4. Body Position and Awareness
Being aware of your body position is huge as discussed above with proper ergonomics. Posture plays a critical role here.
3 easy things to remember:
Sternum Up: By just doing this simple movement you're posture has already improved, your head came up and back, your shoulders came back and you're sitting up taller. This is important to remember not only when you're sitting but during any activity because it will automatically correct you into good posture.
Power Zone: Always remember, Below the shoulders, above the waist, and close to the body. This is your power zone. Especially when lifting, or carrying anything keep it in your power zone and all is good.
Abdominal Bracing: NOT SUCKING IN. We want to create a muscular corset. Activation of the core helps stabilize the spine with whatever we are doing. Even if we are just sitting at our desk core activation is important to maintaining correct spinal posture. Give it a try: fill the belly with air as you breath in and feel the muscular corset activate.
5. Proper Posture
This goes along with body position and awareness. However this is the biggest part in the functional training we do in the office. I check for muscular imbalances causing your bad posture and your pain and symptoms and work to give you specific exercises to correct those. This includes stretching tight muscles, and strengthening the weak muscles to create balance and correct proper posture.
Upper Cross Syndrome and Lower Cross Syndrome . Its a real thing, and it is very common! And you guess it its caused by our habits and poor posture.
6. Corrective Exercises
This correlates well with the poor posture. When we sit for so long and develop that not so great posture we allow specific muscles to get weak and stop working as hard and allow other muscles to work overtime. This is what creates the muscle imbalance and can create problems in the neck, low back, and hips. This can also effect other areas of your life like your hobbies, sport or life outside of sitting. Its important to have some type of corrective exercise plan to combat these imbalances so that we can remain strong and pain free in our every day activities and hobbies.
Have any questions about how you can make your desk sitting as "healthy" as possible?