No matter how invested you are in staying active, odds are you’ve likely spent more time sitting down this year than in previous ones. The pandemic and the winter months are contributing to a more sedentary life; even if you’re working out regularly, the fact that you’re not commuting to work or hanging out with friends likely means that you’re walking less than you normally do.
Sitting down over long periods of time is one of the biggest challenges created by the modern world, affecting our posture and the functioning of our bodies. The damage done by long work hours and office chairs has led to the creation of standing desks and in people sitting on medicine balls in order to keep their core muscles engaged. In conclusion: it’s not good for you to spend all of your time sitting down.
Here are some measures you can take to counteract all of that time spent sitting down:
Sitting down a lot results in poor posture
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Poor posture is very common and one of the most noticeable consequences of spending long hours sitting down. Poor posture results in pain and in a limited range of motion for our back, shoulders and neck. Fortunately, it can be resolved by stretching periodically, especially if you commit to stretches that strengthen muscles.
Many exercises can improve your posture and strengthen your muscles, from classic Yoga positions like Child’s Pose and Cat Cow, to traditional planks, which focus on strengthening your core muscles.
It also contributes to pain and discomfort
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It’s difficult to interrupt the workflow of your day in order to stretch, but the more you train yourself to do it, the easier it becomes and the more results you’ll see. CNN Health reports that the most effective way to stretch is to do so once per every hour of work. The more elaborate stretches and exercises that strengthen muscles, like the Cat Cow pose and planks, should be done twice a day. Long term results include better posture, less muscle pain, more strength and even better breathing patterns.