Sitting for long periods of time has so many damaging effects on our health. From a medical perspective studies show an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, obesity and even cancer (according to the Mayo Clinic). From a physical or exercise perspective sitting tightens muscles, messes with our posture and greatly diminishes athletic performance.
What can you do about it if you have to be at a desk or in a car for hours on end? Going to the gym at the end of the day or regular exercise is not actually a remedy for sitting induced issues, sorry. Ideally for every 30 minutes of sitting get up and move for 4 minutes. Any movement is good, and stretching out the areas that become restricted from sitting, Glutes, hip flexors, thoracic spine, hamstrings, quads (you get the idea it’s a lot), is great!
So I will post a different stretch each day for a week to help you out of the sitting induced trouble. The first one is a fantastic hip flexor (quads and psoas) opener. It may or may not be possible to do at the office but it is a definite for home……you can even do it on the couch! My students ‘love’ it when I add it to a yoga class too 🙂
As per the photo, one shin is against the back rest of the couch (you could use a wall or desk too) with the knee grounded. The other leg is out front to help support you and provide pressure, the front foot could be on the couch or the floor. The idea is to push the buttocks and back against the back rest or wall with the bent leg heel sitting outside the hip. Remember to breathe, hold for up to 2 minutes and make sure you do both sides.
This really opens up the front of the hip and thigh helping to undo the shortening effects of sitting too long. Please let me know if you have questions or just want to let me know how you go.
Stay tuned for the next step to release the dis-ease of sitting too long.