Working from the couch a lot? You’re not alone.
With so many people transitioning to working from home or just spending more time at home right now, we’ve been hearing from a lot of people who are experiencing tightness in their backs, hip pain, and other related issues.
Sitting on softer surfaces like cushy chairs and couches for elongated periods of time (over an hour) causes rounding in your hips and lumbar spine. This can lead to pain, stiffness and discomfort.
Whether you’re working from the couch or just chilling in your favorite recliner watching tv, your body needs a chance to stretch and reset periodically to prevent pain and tightness from settling in.
Try these 5 Simple Ways to Reset Your Body
Check out the video below to see all these in action!
1. Practice Active Sitting
Instead of leaning back against the cushions, choose to sit toward the front of the chair or couch with your feet flat on the ground. Make sure your spine is stacked on your hips and your core is engaged.
2. Choose a Firmer Chair
If you know you’re going to be sitting for an extended period of time, pick a chair that will naturally help you stay in a position with your spine stacked on your hips. A dining room chair or ergonomic desk chair are both great options
3. Try Sitting on the Floor
Who says you can’t work from the floor? One benefit of floor sitting is that you’ll automatically be in a more upright position, since you have nothing to lean against. Another benefit is that you won’t be able to stay in one position for very long. As you start to feel uncomfortable, your body will signal you to switch it up.
You can shift from cross-legged to having both legs stretched out in front of you to sitting on your knees or whatever feels good. You can even try lying on your stomach and working in that position.
4. Take Little Movement Breaks
One of the best things you can do for your body, whether you’re working on a laptop or watching tv, is to give it a quick reset. Consider this a chance to wake up your body and improve blood flow with a few simple stretches like these:
- Get into an activated standing position (spine stacked on hips, core engaged, shoulders neutral)
- Do some overhead reaches (extend both arms to the ceiling as high as you can)
- Try a standing hip flexor stretch (staggered stance, then push your hips forward and back)
- Quad stretch (grab one foot behind you and hold for 20-30 seconds)
- Squats (5-10 reps)
- Reverse Lunges (5-10 reps)
- Hip Hinges (5-10 reps)
These are all great ways to engage your glutes, wake up your core, and get blood flow to your back and hips.
5. Utilize Special Tools for Additional Help
If your pain or tension are more intense, grab your super bands and try some banded hip flexor stretches to really expand that hip capsule. This will help counteract the compression of the hip capsule that happens as you sit in that rounded position on the couch.
You can also make use of your foam roller or trigger point ball to increase blood flow, even while you’re watching tv or relaxing.
Can I Still Sit On the Couch?
Of course! It’s still okay to hang out on the couch, I promise. Just be sure to practice these simple strategies to relieve tension and keep your body limber.