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).