If you happen to have an office job, it can’t have escaped your notice that sitting has been shown to be associated with a variety of chronic health conditions. Office jobs are one the most common forms of employment in the developed world, so here are some tips to help you stay healthy when sitting all day.
Move more often:
Sitting itself and the posture you find yourself in isn’t as bad as simply being still for hours on end. An expression in physiotherapy is ‘the best posture is your next posture’. This means that, above all, movement is the best thing for your body and those in office jobs can find themselves becoming very still while focused on the next deadline.
Set a quiet alarm to remind you to move or change positions every 20 minutes. Getting up for phone calls and walking over to see colleagues when you have a question is a great way to break up your sitting time.
Reverse your posture:
While not moving is definitely the worst aspect to prolonged sitting, the postures we often adopt while sitting can also be problematic. Sitting with a flattened lower back, hunched neck and slouched shoulders is the posture that requires the least energy to maintain and is often the one we sink into in a long day. A slouched posture can lead to shortened hamstring, hip flexor and pectoral muscles.
If you are spending large amounts of time sitting, it’s important to take time every day to adopt the opposite postures and keep your body flexible.
This means moving into thoracic and lumbar extension, stretching your shoulders and extending your hips.