Your arm length “to do” list seems to be getting longer and longer by the second. You know that you SHOULD be moving around more frequently, and GOD DAMMIT, your body is screaming at you to do that. But the reality is you HAVEN’T GOT THE TIME! I know the feeling, I’m actually sitting at my desk this very second having had this talk with myself. It’s a battle and sometimes you just have to sit there and get stuff sorted out. Especially before it piles up so high you can’t see your beloved weekend.
This is where, hopefully, these little tips will make some sense, they’re designed to actually keep you working, even while you’re doing them. Now I’m not saying your fellow office folk won’t ask questions and give you the judgemental side glance. But if your ego can bear it your body will be thankful and you can tell your “to do” list to stick where the sun doesn’t shine.
1. This one is obvious and I’m surprised more people don’t do it. It’s the Figure Four Power Sit. Men in particular sit in this position when they are expressing their dominance, or just feeling comfy. But if you tilt your pelvis in just the right position (anterior tilt, aka: stick your tail out), you’ll get a great stretch down your butt which is good for your hip mobility.
This stretch can help knee and back pain and it stimulates blood flow to the muscles around the pelvis.
2. Standing desks are pretty cool, but we don’t all have this luxury in our places of work. This is where I suggest you get creative. Grab a box, stack books or pile up toilet roll,
just make some kind of sturdy-ish structure that can hold your computer up a little higher. Sitting is the enemy that can make you feel crappy and limit your brains capacity for problem solving. I personally alternate between the two to give my legs a break every now and then.
3. Phone calls should always be done in a hip flexor stretch. ALWAYS. In fact let’s add texting in there too just to force you get off your poor butt. If you need to concentrate then rest your back leg on the chair while you lean into the hip flexor. Hip flexors become stiff and sticky when you’re sitting for long periods, because they are always in a contracted position.
4. This one you need to do when you’re at home, because you might get fired if you do this at work (I can’t have that on my conscience). But, if you have to catch up on emails at home, the I recommend laying on your tummy! This helps pull your body into the opposite shape that it’s been in all day, ie. the CHAIR BODY! It is known as an extension position. In extension the muscles of your butt muscles will fire which is good, because the twins are the powerhouse of the whole body. Also, sitting makes them forget they have a job to do, i.e. engage and support your body! The change in body shape will be good to wake them up.
5. Sitting on a swivel chair? Well why don’t you practice sitting in a twist at 45 degrees for 30 minutes, and then twist the other way for 30 minutes? That way you get a bit of rotation to your spine and blood flow to your internal organs. This is a great one to get your gut working too. If you’re feeling a little clogged up, give this one a go. Remember, even though I’ve given you a get out clause (actually I was giving it to myself), we still need to MOVE! Studies have actually shown that as little as twenty minutes of exercise per day can improve productivity and creativity, as well as foster less emotionally based decision making.
This is such a huge bonus for busy people, because being more productive during working hours, will enable a quicker route to down time with the family. Such a result! So, please be mindful of the temptation to let this be where your movement ends. Make an effort to give your eyes, body and mind a break. Go outside, enjoy the sky, and move your hard working body as a thank you for all it does for you.