As summer ends and a new year of school approaches, students’ activity levels will likely take a hit. Long days seated in a desk are hard to avoid, but the stiff and achy joints that tend to follow can be minimized by taking a few simple steps:
Minimize extended time seated.
Taking small breaks to get up and move. This can be as brief as 2 minutes and should be done at least once per hour.
Set timers to check your posture.
Avoid hunching over and slouching while seated. Maintaining a neutral pelvis with a stacked rib cage will improve your breathing mechanics and help prevent excessive tightness.
Move in place.
Performing calf pumps, “fidgeting”, and other micro movements will help improve circulation and keep our tissues pliable.
Rotate and bend.
Turning side to side through your thoracic spine is a great movement that can be done while seated. Pairing rotation with some side bends will help keep your spine happy and prevent your lats from locking up.
Our body’s tissues rely on adequate hydration to move. Something as simple as drinking more water (and electrolytes) can make a huge difference in how we feel, and how we move.
Adding in any one of these tips can make a significant difference in how we feel after a long day of sitting. Increase the frequency and consistency of these tools to create habits for lasting results. Whether you’re a cubical-bound parent or a desk-locked student, regular movement is imperative to staying healthy and pain free.
Coach Chris Wojchik, NSCA-CPT | Head Strength Coach & Personal Trainer