Rethinking the way we exercise
Between working, commuting and relaxing, many of us are spending up to 70% of our waking hours seated! This is rough news for our bodies, particularly our backs and even people who make a pilgrimage to the gym after work still need to be wary of sitting for long periods of time without a break. If we are going to be spending so much time at the desk, we may as well use a few minutes to keep our bodies in a state of fitness. As chiropractors, we will focus on deskercises that target muscle groups of the core, the upper legs and hips, shoulders and necks.
Subtle deskercises for the discerning worker:
- Glute squeeze: Squeeze your glutes together and hold 5-10 seconds then release. Repeat as often as you want or until the glutes are tired.
- Sub-desk leg raising: while seated, straighten legs in the air and hold for 5-10 seconds. Let them down slowly and repeat up to 20 times or until you tire.
- Ab squeeze: tighten the abdominal muscles, hold for 5-10 seconds and release. Repeat 15 times.
- Using the swivel chair: Lift and hold your feet slightly off the ground. Grip the edge of your desk with thumb and forefinger and gently swivel from side to side to train the oblique muscles in your core.
- Shoulder shrug: Lift shoulders up toward ears, hold 5 seconds and let down slowly. Repeat. This one is great for releasing tension in the upper back and neck.
- Neck strengthening: Put your head in your hands and push. Engaging the muscles of the neck, resist. Then put hands on back of head and push, also resisting with the neck muscles. Hold each for 5 seconds and repeat up to 5 times.
None of these require you to get out of your chair, let alone make a buzz around the office by looking goofy. The emphasis should always be on movement; the more we can keep our muscles moving throughout the workday, the less tension will build. At Hayes Family Chiropractic, we help the deskbound worker by working with you to establish good posture as second nature- this is the single most important thing you can do if you must sit all day. Furthermore we treat sore muscles and nerve dysfunction in the spine with chiropractic adjustment.
Dr. Chris Hayes, D.C.