Working From Home Tips

Sitting is a Sport

By: Randee Engelhard, BS, MPT, PAS, AET

 

Sitting is a sport that requires training just like other physical activities. While it is okay to perform sedentary jobs, it is important to create a balance between sitting and standing. The more you can train your body to sit with better posture, the better your muscles will work for you.

 

Lack of motion in your body can cause symptoms such as pain, stiffness, lack of energy, concentration issues, snoring, sinus issues, headaches, weight gain, insomnia, poor balance and more.

 

Benefits of moving your body 

 

Vessels run through our body, transporting oxygen, expelling toxins, and creating energy in our intestines, arteries, veins, lymphatic vessels, and nerves. When a hose is kinked, water cannot flow properly. Similarly, if your body is hunched over, your head is tilted sideways, or one hip is elevated, it affects many of our body’s functions.

 

The benefits of increased body movement and improved posture include:

  • Muscular and skeletal balance
  • Increased energy and sleep
  • Increased concentration and focus
  • Increased breathing, digestion, and circulation

 

What is good posture?

Good posture is sitting and standing up better and holding your head up well. It is about balance of muscles from front to back and side to side. As a result, the whole body runs more efficiently and optimally. This can also decrease many aches and pains that so many people suffer from.

 

Poor sitting posture

Common sitting posture includes slouching over with shoulders rounded, head hanging down, pelvis tucked under creating a big “C” in our spine, or crossing one leg over the other and causing imbalance to the hip muscles.

 

Corrected sitting posture

In our digital world, many of us are spending more time being sedentary.  It is important to be aware of how you are sitting or standing and make these corrections.

  • Work on your sitting endurance. Sit up in the chair, roll your hips forward gently from the front of your hips creating a natural arch in your back.
  • Avoid back tension by using the front of the hip muscles not the back muscles.
  • Place knees over the ankles with feet straight and parallel, relax shoulders and bring chin level to the ground. Start with 1 minute at a time and build up the time you can do this each hour.

 

Poor standing posture

There are three common patterns that describe how we tend to stand. See how amazing you feel when you adjust and stand upright!

  • Bent forward at the upper back or even at the trunk with a slight lean.
  • Hips jutting in front of the body and your upper body shifting backwards.
  • Hanging on one hip and weight shifting side to side unevenly as you might commonly stay more to one side.

 

Corrected standing posture

  • Consider adding a standing desk to your workspace. Try 15-minute windows and build to 30 minutes or an hour in between your time sitting at a desk. If possible, do a walking phone meeting or while listening to a video or podcast.
  • While standing, start with the outsides of your feet in a parallel stance, about hip width (center of the hip down to the center ankle) or a fist width apart. It is okay to have a little pigeon-toed sensation depending on your overall alignment.
  • Think about stacking your joints ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders all on top each other.
  • If you feel the hips jutting forward, bring them back. As you connect to your upper body, be mindful that your chin is level to the ground and relax the shoulders down.

 

 

Remember to move around as much as possible, change positions, and learn some simple exercises that can be incorporated into your day. Consider switching up time spent unwinding on the couch at the end of day for some stretching and joint movements while watching your favorite show. Or, prop your phone up and move a little more as you scroll through your favorite content.

 

For more information on optimizing your workspace and increasing daily movement, follow Realign by Randee and subscribe to the newsletter for valuable tips.

 

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