Updated: Jan 4, 2022
A quick read for the busy computer worker.
You may have been told by a friend or family member or read an article warning you that “sitting is the new smoking.”
How did you feel when you heard this? Possibly anxious? Confused? Concerned for the future? Afraid that your body is going to fall apart?
Or maybe someone told you that you deserve your back pain because you sit all day?
These are all real life experiences that I commonly get asked about and you (the reader) deserve to have access to quality information that despells harmful opinions.
Sitting at your desk is NOT slowly killing you, but overall inactivity may be. When you look at it this way, sitting is no different than standing or lying on your back or on your stomach. They all involve static positions and lack of movement.
So, can you sit all day and still be healthy!? Absolutely!
I remember in Chiropractic school one of our professors telling us that if you sat for more than six hours in a day, there is nothing you can do to counteract or undo this amount of sitting.
What a bunch of BS!
There’s no cut off point where a certain amount of inactivity makes it impossible for you to counteract with physical activity. Unless, of course, you are inactive all day, every day. But I think we can all recognize that that is not healthy behavior.
And that brings us to our next question…
How much physical activity do I need?
The current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans are as follows:
Individuals meeting both the aerobic and resistance training components of these guidelines have better health outcomes across a range of conditions, including obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a number of other conditions. Bennie 2020
Ya, ya…That’s all great, but...
why do my shoulders, hips, back, and neck kill me after sitting at my desk all day?
Joints and muscles LOVE movement, so any period of prolonged inactivity may increase the chances of your body feeling stiff, tight, or painful. Rather than looking at these aches and pains as an indicator of damage, look at them as a sign that it is time to get up and do a bit of movement.
The spine and extremities also love variation. So if you’re locked into four hours of nonstop computer work, it may be a good idea to frequently change positions. Purchasing a standing desk or a desk that goes from high to low, may be a great option.
Certain stretches and repetitive movements can also be tremendously helpful for desk workers.
recommended movements for the
In the remainder of this article, you will find just one of the movement prescriptions from our MVMT program MOVE. This program is an educational guide full of in-depth videos and movement prescriptions aimed at the desk worker's common ailments.
Low Back & Hip
Video Link: https://youtu.be/qP7FE6KVaA4
**Adjustable playback speed.
Prone Press Up Modifications –
a. Yoga strap/band assisted: The strap in particular adds some nice downward pressure for you to use as a fulcrum to extend over. A dog leash may also do the trick.
b. Kneeling hip dips: A great alternative to the prone press ups that is less fatiguing on the arms. Note that the finishing position is identical to the prone press ups. Dip your belt buckle into the floor, exhale, and hold for a two count. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.
TIP: Similar to the repetitive neck movements, some discomfort is often felt at the finishing position. It is encouraged to repeat for up to 3-4 sets, as oftentimes the discomfort begins to ease, and this movement becomes quite relieving. If you are experiencing significant low back achiness, it may be very helpful to perform one set of one of the above variations every 1-2 hours that you are awake, for 7-10 days, then adjust the reps and sets accordingly. It is also important to emphasize that there is a strong correlation with low back pain and lack of physical activity. Increasing your daily/weekly physical activity may be more helpful than performing prone press ups.
Kneeling Lunge Progressions –
a. Kneeling lunge with speed: adding overpressure and speed often improves the feel-good effect of this movement. Place one hand on the back of your hip and aggressively press the hip forward to finish the lunging movement.
b. Kneeling lunge with reach: another alternative is to lunge forward, reach overhead, and lean away. You may feel a nice stretch on the side of your torso.
c. Kneeling lunge with rear foot elevated (not in video): an additional alternative is to place your rear foot on a stool or your desk chair and go through the same lunging movement. This will place a greater challenge on the front of the thigh.
90/90 Shin Box –
- 90/90 Shin box with support: use a pillow, rolled up towel or mat and place it beneath your hips. Typically, the rear hip is the limiting factor in this position so if you’d like to challenge the front hip more, place a book or pillow beneath the front ankle.
TIP: Stay tall, keep your chest proud and oriented forward. Most of the motion should be at the hips. Rotate the top of your back pocket towards the floor and hold for 5 seconds. You will feel a stretch deep inside your hip. Return to the starting position, then hinge forward over the front leg keeping your chest proud. You will feel a stretch in your lateral hip. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat for 5 sets front and back.
In our full program, MOVE, we cover more for the Neck, Shoulders and Mid-Back.
If you found this article helpful, please share with your friends and followers. Let us empower and educate each other, so we can all build our confidence in our ability to move.
Leave a comment for discussion or as always, feel free to contact us with questions.
Are you interested in Chiropractic Care, or are you still unsure of who you should see to treat your painful condition? Book a free virtual discovery visit here. We can discuss your current situation and have an honest conversation.