During the festive season, it’s easy to overindulge in food and drink, and the same is true when it comes to sitting! Whether you’re watching your favourite Christmas movie or catching up with loved ones over a meal, it’s easy to lose track of how long you’ve been sitting down for. Sit less, move more this holiday season – exercise over Christmas!
Long bouts of sitting are shown to increase stiffness in the neck and lower back due to heightened load and stress on these areas. In fact, inactivity and sedentary behaviour can also have detrimental effects on your overall health, being associated with conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and some forms of cancer.
Although these conditions are developed through prolonged sitting over a long period of time, it’s important to create healthy habits early to reduce the likelihood of negative side-effects developing. One of the most effective strategies to help mitigate the health risks of sitting is through exercise. Yes, the type of exercise you do is important, however the general rule isthe more sitting done, the more exercise required.
With warmer and longer days, there’s no excuse to not get moving at this time of the year. Check out Pivotal Motions top 4 tips and exercises to get you out of your chair and moving this silly season – indulge in exercise over Christmas!
Get your heart rate up! Choose your favourite type of exercise (cycling, walking, lifting weights etc.) and incorporate it around your sitting periods. Also incorporate some body-weight exercise into your day – every time you go to the bathroom, do 10 squats to your office chair or some incline push ups on your desk. At lunch or when you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, try some step ups or stationary lunges.
Stretch! Prolonged sitting can often affect the length and tone of specific muscles, which can shorten important muscles such as the hip flexors and chest muscles. Performing stretches before, during and after sitting is great way to break up your long sitting stretches!
Your best posture is your next posture! Sometimes getting up and moving around won’t be possible, and that’s okay! Instead, try and focus on regularly changing your posture or the way you’re sitting. Even small, simple changes in posture can help – do a couple combinations of squeezing your shoulder blades together and hunching and rolling your shoulders to wake your muscles up before sitting up straight again.
Even during sitting, you can still move! Some simple and effective exercises to include during sitting can include…
Toe taps (raises toes up, lowering back to the ground)
Leg extensions (straighten the knee)
Knee raises (Lift the knee to the sky)
If you would like to learn more about sedentary behavior and how best to limit it, come check in with the team at Pivotal Motion!