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Healthful Habits
Take a Stand!


Sitting for long periods has a negative effect on the body. Check out this awesome site that gives some astounding facts about the impact too much sitting has on our bodies. It shuts down electrical energy to our legs, leads to lower insulin effectiveness and good cholesterol, decreases the production of fat burning enzymes, and brings our caloric expenditure down to 1 calorie per minute. Yikes! Not good.
 
Unfortunately, the modern lifestyle might be to blame. With the decline of the walk-able town center, we are encouraged to drive our cars to the newer, bigger, grocery stores, post offices, and movie theaters. Today’s jobs require work in front of a computer or stationary work desk. If you even have time for lunch, most likely you don’t even leave the office. And entertainment has become almost synonymous with sitting in front of the TV.
 
Even if you wanted to walk, our culture has made it next to impossible. (Check out WalkScore.com to see where in NC your town ranks.) I use to live a little over a mile from a grocery market to which I could have walked had it not been for the busy road with no shoulder, I-40 overpass, and an intersection that looked like Escher himself engineered it. I biked it a few times and considered myself lucky to arrive home in one piece.
 
We don’t have to contend with land use boards and company policies to change our sitting behavior (although here’s a company that can help!). There are some easy steps you can take to minimize the time on your tush: set stretching breaks, standing breaks, take a conference call walking, take the stairs, park further away to encourage walking, or, if your employer allows, you could switch to a standing desk. Anyway you choose, you can’t lose, unless it’s some weight!


Add Yoga to Your Life

You don't need to be an expert in yoga to reap its benefits. Practicing a few poses everyday can help not only get you out of your chair, it also helps reenergize your mind so you can stay focused on your work. Here are a few links that  provide suggestions of yoga poses that you can do at your workspace:

Any of the seated poses explained in the above links can also be done while standing. Also, when you think about stretching, try and focus on those muscles that are shortened. Posture while sitting at a computer  normally tightens our pecs and hip flexors leaving the opposing muscle groups (upper back, rhomboid area and lower back, gluteal area) overstretched. After sitting at a computer all day, we may feel the pain in  our upper back and lower back, but stretching these areas is not the remedy. Instead, turn your focus to stretching the contracted muscles (pecs, front of neck, hip flexors and hamstrings).
 
Monthly Affirmation

"People create their own questions because they are afraid to look straight. All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don't sit looking at it—walk."

- Ayn Rand


Know Your Muscles and
How to Keep Them Happy

 

Muscle: Pectoralis Major




Attachment Sites: Clavicle, sternum, cartilage of 1-6 ribs, and greater tubercle of humerus

Action: (All fibers) Adducts shoulder, rotates shoulder forward, assists in inhalation; (Upper fibers) Flex shoulder and horizontally adducts shoulder; (Lower fibers) Extends shoulder

How to Stretch:
1. Find a door way and bend your arm at a 90 degree angle so that the forearm and elbow are resting against the door frame.

2. Lean forward slightly as you keep your arm pressed firmly against the door frame.

3. You should feel a stretch all along your chest as you lean further even more.

4. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on opposite arm.


            

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