Easy Stretches to Relieve the Effects of All-Day Sitting!
Think about how much time you spend each day sitting down. You may sit down throughout the entire working day at a desk in front of a computer. You sit in traffic during your commute to and from work, and you sit when you’re watching TV in the evening, or surfing the internet.
Most of us aren’t about to quit our jobs for the sake of overall health but we can do some changes to counteract the effects of sitting all day. The goal is to correct your posture and stretch those tight hips (an added benefit is that it may reduce your lower belly by improving your posture!).
Lordosis is the medical term to describe the change of our natural posture from all-day sitting. In plain terms, it causes your butt to push back and thus, your belly to come forward. The tightness in your quads, the low back pain, and even your IT band issues, could all be from your hips being out of alignment due to this consistent tightness. All-day sitting causes your hip flexors to remain flexed and active all day, which result in overuse and then stiffness.
How can you resolve this?
1. Stretching the tight muscles, and strengthening the muscles that have been “turned off” due to the other muscle tightness.
2. Regular Chiropractic visits to keep the spine and hips aligned – you know where we are!
Here are a few daily stretches to release those hips and help keep the muscles lengthened and strong:
These stretches are meant to be held up for at least 30 seconds - 1 minute per side.
1. Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch:
- Tuck your hips under and with one leg forward, lean into the stretch.
- You should feel this along the front of the leg on the ground – meet your hip flexors!!!!
- The lean should cause you to feel a stretch and your knee should not cross over your toes.
- Check your shoulders at this point: are they back or rounded forward from being on the computer all day!
- Head up and shoulders back.
- This stretch alone will go a long way towards releasing the tightness caused by sitting.
2. Deep Squat:
- Unlike doing a squat for a body workout, with this one you need to sink down and settle into the pose.
- Work your way up to staying in the position for at least a minute and keep your heels on the ground.
- If you have trouble getting into or staying in the position it is best to hold onto a bar, such as a chair or table leg.
- This one may be difficult at first but hold it for as long as you can! Keep your head and chest up! The objective is to allow you lower back to relax!
3. Child’s Pose:
- Much like the squat, the child’s pose is another release for your lower back and your brain! Something about it forces you to relax
- There are two options for this stretch, the first is to place your feet together, knees out wide and then lay your upper body to the floor.
- If this causes any knee pain, it’s probably due to tight hips and you can change to a modified version where both your feet and knees are together.
4. Assisted Quad Stretch:
- This one is great for alleviating knee pain experienced by runners as well as hip and back pain.
- Place both knees near the couch or wall, with one leg propped us against it.
- Then place the other leg at a 90 degree position and move to an upright position.
- Keep your body tall and straight and don’t lean forward or backward.
- If you muscles are very tight, you may need to start with you knee further from the couch and work your way back in time.
5. Knee Hug:
- Bet you could use a hug about right now!... Simply bring in one leg at a time while keeping the other flat on the floor and hug it tightly to your body.
- This is your last stretch of the day - hold it!!! Repeat on the other side.
- You can also then bring both knees to your chest and hold for another minute.
Remember to get up and walk around every half an hour, while you are sitting at work!
Plus, don’t forget to book regular Chiropractic sessions to keep the spine aligned and flexible!
Happy stretching all!