As more of us continue to work from home, we’re likely to find ourselves sitting for prolonged periods of time. This can be damaging to your health because excessive sitting has been linked to metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. People who sit for long periods of time and are not physically active, are at an even greater risk for disease.
It is recommended that you stand up and move periodically when sitting at a computer or even watching tv. Doing that every 30 minutes to help prevent sedentary health issues is a great way to break up long bouts of sitting. Some activities that you could do while taking a break from sitting could be walking in place, stretching, taking a bathroom break or water break. If you watch tv for long periods of time, try standing up and marching in place during commercial breaks.
Below are 5 basic stretches that you can do when taking a break from sitting.
1. Standing Cervical Side Bend Stretch- While standing tilt your head towards the shoulder making sure that you are looking straight ahead. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.
2. Wall Assist Upper Back Stretch- While standing, find an immoveable object (i.e. wall) and place arms slightly wider than shoulder-width. Keeping your back flat and feet together, begin to bend at the hip and knees. Do not arch the back. Hold for 30 seconds.
3. Standing Lower Back/Hamstring Stretch- Start by standing with your feet together and your hands on the back of a chair for support. Lean forward, keeping spine neutral for a gentle stretch in your lower back and hamstrings. Hold for 30 seconds and complete on opposite side.
4. Standing Quad Stretch- While standing, bend one of your knees back behind and hold your ankle/foot. Gently pull your knee into a more bent position until a stretch is felt on the front of the thigh. Hold for 30 seconds and complete on opposite side.
5. Standing Hamstring Stretch- While standing, prop your foot of the leading leg on a chair or step, keeping toes pointed up. Slowly lean forward while placing your hands on your knee until a stretch is felt behind your knee/thigh. Do not bend at the spine, but at the hips. Hold for 30 seconds and complete on opposite side.
Look for Apps that you can download onto your smartphone or work computer to help remind you to get up and move. Using a smart watch or activity watch (Fitbit, Garmin, etc) is also a great tool to help remind you to move every so often.
Franciscan Health Fitness Centers has a vast array of equipment and ideas to help you get up and moving. We strive to be the leading wellness source for those looking to live a healthy lifestyle.
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