Sitting, and even worse: not sitting correctly, affects our back enormously. Due to the hunched position the blood flow to the brain can be blocked which causes difficulty concentrating as well as tiredness. The most simple and helpful cure is regular exercise, even if it´s only short.
In the past exercise was necessary for survival – this means humans were always active. Today we sit too much and move too little which is more dangerous than expected. It has a negative effect on sugar and fat metabolism as well as blood flow and vascular function. Inflammatory processes are promoted, muscles break down and fat cells fill up.
It´s important to have a healthy balance when it comes to being active and relaxing. After being active there´s no harm in sitting. However, permanent sitting has to be counteracted with exercise. These five exercises will activate your entire body and help maintain muscles, increase energy consumption and increase performance.
Lean against the office table keeping your hands stretched and with your legs away from the table so that the body forms a plank. Build up body tension and slowly perform push-ups until the chest almost touches the edge of the table, then stretch again.
Stretch from toes to fingertips, then go into a squat. Remain in this position for a while and gently rock back and forth before re-stretching.
Get up from your office chair, then slowly lower yourself back down as if you were going to sit down. Briefly touch the seat and immediately stand up again. For balance keep your arms stretched out to the front.
Stretch both arms to the side at shoulder height. Press both shoulder back and make circles with your stretched arms. Let the circles get smaller and faster, then change direction. Advanced: Rotate one arm clockwise, the other anti-clockwise.
The perfect exercise while waiting at the printer or during other stationary activities: Stand on one leg and try to keep your balance. Alternatively, standing on tiptoes will effectively strengthen your body from the claves to the back. Even a little walk while on the phone or holding a meeting while walking can be helpful alternatives.
As the saying “Use it or lose it” states, the body breaks down muscles if they aren´t used. This process already starts after 72 hours, therefore being active every third day – better every second – is recommended.
On days off it´s advisable to get outside and train the cardiovascular system by doing an endurance training. The above mentioned exercise can also be done outside and could be combined with other activities.
Autor: Olympiazentrum Vorarlberg