3 Simple Exercises To Counter The Effects Of Sitting Excessively

Most people who are working in an office spend a good 7 or 8 hours sitting in front of a computer. It’s all comfortable until you realize that sitting actually is more likely to kill you than smoking. A study showed that the leading cause of years of living with disability is caused by back pain.

Here’s what extended periods of sitting does to your body:

  • The hamstring muscles located at the back of your legs stay in a non-contracted position that gets weaker over time.
  • Blood pooling in your legs and a subsequent, higher risk for developing clots that may cause pulmonary embolism or an ischemic stroke.
  • Gradual development of rigid joint function due to lack of use.
  • Incorrect back posture reduces lung capacity.
  • Possible herniation of the cushions located between the spines, an ailment otherwise known as a slipped disc.
  • Development of tendinitis in your hips.

It’s also been studied that sitting too long has higher risks for death compared to the leading 14 out of 22 chronic diseases. This fact is enough to convince couch potatoes to get moving. Here’s a list of exercises that you can do at home to counter the effects of sitting too much.

1. Seated Leg Extensions

You don’t have to go to the gym to do leg extensions with a machine. If you’re seated in front of your desk at home or in the office, simply moving your legs up and down helps the blood move. You do this by raising your feet so it runs parallel to your legs. Do this 10 or 20 times for each foot, or until you’re satisfied.

Seated leg extensions at a gym. (source)

This exercise helps reduce your chances of a stroke caused by blood clots forming in your legs.

2. Hamstring Stretch

This exercise targets the muscle which suffers the most from extended sitting. Prop yourself at the edge of your chair (without falling over) and extend your legs so they’re straight. With your palms on your knees, slowly slide it down towards your feet as far as you can, comfortably.

Hold this position for 3 seconds. Repeat as many times as you want. This exercise contracts your hamstrings and stretches your lower back muscles. It also releases pressure off your shoulders and the tension at the middle of your back.

A perfect Uttanasana.(source)

This pose is as close as you can get to an Uttanasana. Enrolling at Yogaworks will give you a chance to learn more advanced yoga poses.

3. Upper Body Stretch

You’ve probably done this many times without you knowing. There are a lot of variations in an upper body stretch. One of the simplest ways to do this is clasping your hands together, then turning it downwards and out, and pushing your elbows in. 

A simple version of a chest stretch. (source)

While in this position, you can move it upwards over your head to stretch your chest muscles. Another variation involves putting your hands behind you while clasping your hands together. While in this position, bend forward and try to swing your arms upwards slowly and as comfortably as you can.
If you enjoyed these simple exercises and you are looking for an upgrade, a membership to Fitness 19 gives you access to equipment and fitness coaches.

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