There is a reason why stretching into a pilates lunge always make you sigh “ahhh” with relief. Thanks to our overly sedentary work life, our hips and backs are feeling tighter than ever.
In the U.S. we spend 10 hours a day seated on average, 80 percent of us will experience lower-back pain being desk, car or sofa bound. This is sometimes referred to as, long-term parking, which causes lower-back pain by upsetting the normal, healthy function of a few major muscle groups.
The main problem is poor posture.
We tend to slouch while we sit, and cashew-curling our upper body strains back, neck and shoulder muscles.
Here are Po/P’s 3- must-dos’ to get you back on track:
Respect the S- Curve
A healthy spine has two gentle inward curves – one behind the neck, the other right below the waist – to keep its vertebrae stacked naturally and the upper body’s weight evenly distributed, says Joan Vernikos, Ph.D., a former director of NASA Space Life Sciences and author of Sitting Kills, Moving Heals (Quill Driver Books, 2011).
To maintain this silhouette, we need to sit correctly: with chin neutral and level, ears over shoulders, shoulders over hips, chest slightly lifted, and feet flat on the floor.
Typing on a keyboard? Be sure that your arms are bent at a 90-degree angle, your wrists are supported, and the center of your computer screen is positioned just below eye level.
Photo Credit: Kira auf der Heide on Upsplash
Get Up, Stand Up
Every little bit helps – just once every half hour is enough to prevent muscles-wasting spinal disk compression and other harmful effects of being stuck in one spot. While you’re up and walking, take big, strong strides to relieve the pressure that sitting causes.
Exercise with Intent
If you are already achy, or have had issues in the past, first get the green light from your medical professional. Then start conservatively, with basic core-building exercises. Think squats, planks, bridges and wall-sits. Pay attention to technique, really pays off to ensure that your back never takes on more than it can handle.