Have you noticed that ever since this shutdown started, that you’ve begun dealing with more back and neck pains? Also, you may even be experiencing some more random pains, such as with your hips or shoulders. It makes us wonder: why are our torsos having more trouble since we’ve been at home?
The culprit is that a lot of us have made changes in our daily movements and spatial positions since the shutdown, namely in how and where we are sitting.
According to some people, sitting is the new smoking but in reality, a sedentary life is the new smoking. Lack of movement, lack of blood flow, lack of hydration—those things that bring about postural deviations put an impact on our circulation and make our heart work a lot harder than when we’re moving and getting good natural lymphatic drainage.
Even so, many of us weren’t perfect before COVID shutdown. We were already experiencing intermittent imbalances, intermittent back pains, intermittent shoulder pains, they simply weren’t as chronic as they are currently. So what changed?
The reason for this is that many of us were in a much more ergonomic position before. I’m talking about a lesser-of-two-evils position. Many of us were using ergonomic chairs at our desks that incorporated better support for our back, putting us in a more upright sitting position. Along with this, we spend more time moving at the office–we had to travel to go to work, to attend a meeting, talk to somebody to another workstation, maybe attend another meeting. Compare that to right now, when we basically sit at one spot, going from Zoom meetings to Zoom meetings. We really do not move a lot, except to grab some water, food, and go to the bathroom.
The other MAIN reason is that we spend more time sitting on our couches, our recliners, and bar stools that give us bad posture positions as opposed to an ergonomic chair’s position where we sit upright.
We tend to sit back and rest on our couch, pushing different parts of our body to move in the wrong positions. Those super soft couches, the recliners, the bar stools that we’re sitting on are not “ergonomic.”
(Again, just sitting in an ergonomic station all day isn’t good, but it is a lesser evil if it is for a long period of time.)
So now that we’ve established why this is happening, how can we get our body back on track?
First and foremost, as I mentioned, the most effective action to take is to sit on a firm chair. Get one of your dining room table chairs, try not to use the back of your chair. Sit more on the edge of your chair, sitting on the actual hip bones themselves with the spine stacked upright. See if you can pull the shoulders back a little bit and pull the neck back a little bit–now you’re in a much more ergonomic position as you sit and work. That’s step one.
Now you’re not going to be perfect, you won’t be able to sit in this perfect upright position for very long. You’re going to end up getting lazy and rounding in, especially if you have been sitting like this for the last couple of months. That’s okay! Every time you remember it, try to reset.
Then second, is one of my most effective tips- Take quick movement breaks every 30 to 60 minutes.
We teach our clients the best movements for them to do based on their body imbalances, but in this video here are some general go-to’s that you can incorporate across the board. These movement breaks are one of the biggest habits that we teach our clients, because it helps us get up, get good blood flow, and wake up our tissues that are shutdown throughout the day. It also helps us reset and open up the body, reduce some tensions that are in the wrong direction.
Plus, it’s quick! You can do these in little, 30-second breaks and it makes a big difference.
So here are my three quick recommendations:
- Stand up and extend your arms overhead
- Open up your hip flexors
- Do a quick shoulder/neck opener with a band or, just use a door frame.
- Finally, grab a seat again. Get on the edge of your chair, sit upright and get back to work.
Those little resets every 30 – 60 minutes go a REALLY long way in keeping your body fresh!
I will be doing more Facebook lives in the coming weeks, so for those who are interested, please like and follow our Facebook page for more tips and updates.
Or if you’re looking for more than just the general tips, feel free to watch our FREE masterclass class– How to Rehab and Prevent Chronic Pains and Injuries by Reconditioning the Body Back to Full Ranges of Stable Motion.