It’s a fact of life that most of us have to work. Many of us have typical 9-5 desk jobs, which means we do a whole lot of sitting. For those of us in this position, we spend more time hunched over computers than we do sleeping, and a fifth of our life is now spent sitting down. Research has shown that humans naturally adjust their posture 2–3 times per minute when standing, engaging all kinds of muscles that support posture. When we sit statically in a normal chair, these muscles relax and weaken. Excessive sitting has also been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and early death. But don’t change the player, change the game. In order to keep joints flexible and limbs spry, you need to learn the art of active sitting. Discover our full range of supplements to boost your recovery time and to help keep you healthy. With active sitting, you can improve your health, posture and flexibility without leaving your chair.
Movement brings hydration and nutrients to the tissue and activity keeps it healthy, so even though our jobs and evolving ‘mobile’ technologies are making us more prone to sit and press buttons, we need to think actively and sit actively. So it’s important not just to get up for breaks, but rather to do things that will keep your tissues mobile and fluid throughout your day—and life. So here are some active sitting exercises for you to master when you’re next seated for a prolonged amount of time:
Sit upright with your feet flat on the floor and your hands in your lap. Look ahead, with your chin tucked in, so the back of your head is in line with your back. Pull your chin in, keeping your gaze level, as if you were trying to press the back of your head against a wall. Hold for a count of five, relax, repeat five times.
Sitting resistance exercise
Sit upright, look straight ahead, with your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your chin tucked and your neck long, place your hands on the back of your head with your fingers interlaced. Gently push your head against your hands, holding firm to feel the resistance in your neck muscles. Hold for a count of five, relax, hold for 10, relax, hold for 15, relax.
Sit square with your feet flat on the floor. Then tense and hold the muscles in your buttocks for a count of 10. Release and repeat 10 times.
Gentle backward stretch
Sit upright in your chair with your feet flat on the floor, clench your buttocks and place your hands in your lap. Breathe in deeply and engage your core muscles, lift the chest up and lean back, stretching up and out from the waist. Keep the hips strong and grounded in your chair. Hold for a count of 10, then relax. Repeat three times.
Keeping one foot flat and grounded on the floor, bend the other knee and place your ankle across the thigh of the opposite leg. The higher up your thigh, the greater the stretch. Holding the bent knee with both hands, and keeping your shoulders relaxed and back straight, gently pull up from the hips to increase the stretch from your buttock through the thigh of the bent leg. Hold for a count of five, then repeat with the other leg.