Unless you work in a trade job or in the fitness industry, chances are you spend most of your time at work sitting on your desk in front of a screen. Admittedly this is unavoidable. But the problem is, most of us don’t practice proper sitting postures and worse, don’t take the time to move around or stretch after being inactive for long periods of time.
Excessive sitting, typing, phone usage, and screen staring can cause a multitude of problems with regards to your posture and how the human body is meant to function.
Luckily for you, we’ve got some tips to help with your posture and some life hacks to get you moving even if your work is mostly sedentary in nature.
Sitting – The Silent Killer
Let’s address the main position most of us work in - sitting. Though this might seem simple enough, proper posture ensures that there is reduced stress on your spine, your core is engaged, shoulder blades retracted, and neck not extended.
1. Don’t slouch!
Being in a slouched position for extended periods of time causes your muscles to become ‘lazy’. Instead, when sitting, imagine being pulled up by an invisible string attached to your head. This will pull your spine and core into a better position rather than being slumped over. Also when typing, make it a habit to keep your shoulder blades retracted and down. Having your shoulders rolled forward causes your neck to extend. Over a period of time, this causes muscle tightness and imbalances that could lead to further problems in your neck and in some cases migraines.
2. If your office space allows, throw out your swivel chair and use a Swiss Ball/exercise ball instead.
Sitting on a Swiss Ball ensures that your core muscles are constantly engaged to prevent you from falling off. Naturally this would translate into better posture, balance and stability.
Let’s get moving!
Now that we’ve got the main issue out of the way, let’s look at ways to get you moving and waking up those ‘lazy’ muscles.
3. Use a smaller water bottle or cup
Instead of a giant water bottle, use a smaller bottle or cup to ensure that you have to get up regularly for refills. This ensures your muscles are used and you get a chance to get blood circulating through your body (every step counts). Staying hydrated would also mean you’d be making more trips to the toilet. Don’t underestimate how much of a difference these small steps make.
4. Stepping out for lunch
With all the technology we have at our finger tips, even the most primal of activities such as searching and obtaining food, is simplified and easily accessible. Food delivery services are prevalent and so easy to use that we no longer have the need to step out for a meal. I urge you to use your lunch break seriously, which means taking a walk out to buy food. If you pack lunch for work, take it outdoors and have your meal. Doing these simple things will awake your muscles from the monotony of sitting down.
5. Work on those forearms
Having a simple stress ball at your desk will allow you to do this. Every hour, take two minutes off to squeeze the stress ball as hard as you can for a set number of repetitions. This will ensure that all the muscles in your forearms are used, and not only those associated with typing.
Being mindful, and following these simple steps will ensure that you develop a better posture and keep chronic aches and pains at bay. Also, making these small changes to your lifestyle will also lead you to walk a lot more in your day.
If you can take away anything from this, it is two things: Don’t slouch, and move more!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rohit Raj is a Personal Trainer at UFIT. He has always been an active individual, starting soccer at 10, skateboarding at 12, and Muay Thai at 16. His love for fitness and it made him realise the importance of strength and endurance. Having made significant progress from his younger days of being a skinny kid, his motivation as a Personal Trainer is to help others look and feel better about themselves.
His personal fitness goals are to get stronger and attain a well-built physique in a safe and progressive manner. This means fuelling his body with good nutrients to help him sustain his energy levels for a good workout, and develop good eating habits. With the right balance, Rohit believes that we can enjoy all types food – that is a healthy mindset to adopt.