Don’t Fear the Office Chair
Don’t let flexibility slip away while you work…
….because it will! Sitting hunched over for 8 hours is a behavior that contributes to a steep decline in flexibility as we get older. If you choose to do nothing about it, then you are leaving your body at risk for injury from basic daily motions. Think of all the standing, walking, lifting, twisting and turning movements that you do in a day, many of which are unconscious processes. Now imagine that you couldn’t do these with ease, that simply standing up could cause you pain. That is what is at stake if we let flexibility slip away.
Can you spare two minutes?
Instead focus on simple upkeep- 2 minutes an hour to establish a baseline of flexibility and keep muscles tension free; we promise you the effects will be astonishing. Start with these basic movements, all of which can be done from the seated position in your office chair:
- Gentle twist: sit up straight, inhale and exhale while gently twisting your body to the left, as you look over your left shoulder. Place your right hand on your knee and rest for 10 seconds then repeat on the other side.
- Release the shoulders: hands off the keyboard, sit up straight and squeeze your shoulder blades in toward each other. Hold 10 seconds and release.
- Release the neck: sit up straight, place your hand on top of your hand and gently lower your left ear toward your shoulder. Feel the stretch in the opposing side and hold 5 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
- Forward fold: sit on the edge of your chair, extend your legs with feet hip width apart. Inhale and exhale and fold your upper body down, reaching toward your feet with your hands. Grasp your ankles and rest this way for 10 seconds.
Use your time at work to preserve flexibility
Now instead of a situation in which you are actively defeating your own flexibility, you are adding to it! This is a crucial difference-maker in our experience as we age and our bodies slow down: flexibility is one of the factors that can make the difference between chronic pain and an old age of independence. Let’s start restoring that flexibility today! Give our office in Sacramento a call to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.
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