Sitting isn’t the Enemy

Standing Desks are at the height of their popularity in today’s office spaces. But is it truly necessary to purchase an expensive workstation that transforms with the push of a button or crank of a lever? Patients are always asking if they should get a sit-stand desk, or if they’re current work posture is correlated with their reason/s for needing treatment. It’s typically a more complex answer than what we’ve got time for on this blog, but the basic point that needs to be understood is this: Sitting isn’t the enemy, a more sedentary lifestyle is.
Addressing ergonomics is a wonderful starting point towards a healthier posture, but our bodies are amazing adapters to their environment and those adoptions can be good or bad. For example, the more you lift the more muscle/strength you gain or the less active you are the less it takes to strain your body. So the issue doesn’t solely rest on whether or not you should be sitting less and standing more, but whether you take advantage of work breaks to get up and get moving. Be less sedentary.

Now let’s go over a few simple moves that you can do while at work:

Wake Up The Glutes!Standing Hip Extensions

Standing Hip Extensions with or without an elastic band
While standing with or without an elastic band looped around your ankles, move your target leg back as you squeeze your glutes. Hold 1-2 seconds and slowly return to start.

Put Those Shoulders in Place!Shoulder Rolls 3

Shoulder Rolls (back & down) with or without neck stretches
Start practicing proper shoulder/shoulder blade placement by rolling your shoulders back and sliding them down towards the opposite buttock as shown in the photo. You can also add a slight neck stretch as shown in the picture for added benefit.

Sit Up Straight. Now Breath…

Belly BreathingBelly Breathing
With your feet flat on the floor, sit up as tall as you can without arching your low back and flaring your ribs/chest out. Place your hands as shown in the photo, and slowly begin to breathe in through your nose attempting to inflate your belly. Then breathe slowly breath out through your mouth while engaging your core during exhalation.

This is just a small sample of what can be done while adhering to a good micro break schedule during your work day. Currently, the recommended ratio and duration for micro breaks is as follows; after every 1-2 hours of work give yourself a quick 3-5 minutes to move around, stretch, or do a set of recommended exercises (Like the sample ones above!). Micro breaks should provide an opportunity to not only feel better but to also be more productive and focused while at work. If you need help sticking to a consistent break schedule there are several phone apps or good old fashion timers on your phones/computers/tablets that can remind you to get up and move. In the future, we’ll continue to address other aspects of workplace ergonomics, product recommendations, and more exercises to improve your posture!

For those that can’t wait until we post another blog on this or other topics, contact us via e-mail: ultimatesportsmedicine@gmail.com or call 415-563-1655 to schedule an appointment today!

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