While the average person works 40 hours a week, many of us work more than that, sitting at our desks all day. Plus, when we’re not working, we are still sitting on the couch, or on a chair when we get home. Most of us take very little or no breaks at all from sitting to stretch or take a walk. Furthermore, less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Because of our lack of movement and constant sitting, back pain and poor posture may develop, as well as obesity and metabolic syndrome, heart problems, and other health issues.
Compared to people who stand or are on their feet during the day, workers who sit are twice as likely to develop heart disease. Sitting all day has also been linked to diabetes, cancer, depression, and dementia. It may also cause muscle and joint pain.
So, what can you do to combat these issues? Taking breaks to walk and stretch is the first step. You should try to take a break from sitting every 30 minutes. Taking a short walk every day can seriously improve your health. Walking may provide you with a number of health benefits like keeping your heart healthy, keeping your muscles and joints moving, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Here are four stretches you can do at home while taking a break from sitting:
With hands and knees on the ground with a straight back, first curl your back upwards towards the ceiling. Hold that position for 5-10 seconds and then return to a straight back. From there, arch your back downwards towards the floor. Hold that position for 5-10 seconds and then return to a straight back. Keep your core tight while doing this stretch, repeat sequence 5 times.
Knees to Chest
Lay on your back with your legs stretched out straight. One leg at a time, bend your knee and pull it towards your chest while hugging it close to your torso. Hold this position 5-10 seconds. Switch legs and repeat the move, stretching each side 5 times.
Lay flat on your stomach with your arms stretched out above your head. Lift your arms, chest, and torso off the ground while keeping your hips and legs and flat on the ground. Use your core muscles to hold your upper body off the ground. Hold this position 5-10 second and then lower yourself back onto the ground. Repeat this move 10 times.
Sitting on the ground with both legs out in front, bend one knee and pull it in creating a "4" shape with your two legs. Lean forward and reach your hands towards your toes of your straight leg. Hold 8-10 seconds, switch legs, repeat 5 times each leg. You can also hold this stretch position for longer periods of time to get a better stretch.
Taking breaks from sitting to walk and stretch every 30 minutes is imperative for your health, it may even add years to your life! Even if you are active outside of work and get plenty of exercise throughout the week, you can still be affected by dangerous and damaging symptoms from sitting for too long - and the results are irreversible. At Physicians Age Management Centers/Longevity Med, your health is our priority. We offer hormone replacement therapy, weight loss and nutrition services, supplementation and more. Give us a call today to schedule your consultation. A happier, healthier life is just one step away!