Since switching careers from Physiotherapy to a business role and spending the majority of my time sitting, I’ve realised what all my clients have been saying all along: you can be stationary for 8 hours and not even realise it. It’s tricky to remember to get up and do something every hour if you don’t have meetings booked in or an excuse to pop over to someone’s desk. I’ve spent hours explaining to clients the importance of a good desk setup and not sitting for more than one hour at a time, but now I find myself in that same position, literally. They say sitting is the new smoking, right? Bad for your health and completely avoidable.
If you’re a freelancer working from home, eventually you tend to find yourself slumped on your sofa or hunched over your laptop at your kitchen table. Pilates is definitely the go-to for a great full-body workout, but it can also be a great tool if you’re stuck at your desk for long periods of time. It’s super important for your joints, muscles and even your vision to have your desk set up properly; elbows, knees and hips at 90 degree angles, screen just slightly lower than your eyeline when you’re sitting up properly. The human body isn’t made to be stationary, and when we lack regular movement we start to see health problems appear. To keep you pain-free throughout the day, here are three pilates exercises you can do at your desk. Do each exercise every hour and repeat several times. They’re easy and fairly inconspicuous, so if you’re in an office or coworking space people won’t ask any questions!
Sitting up tall, cross your hands over your chest and rotate your upper body to the left then round to the right…it’s as simple as that. Do this about 10-15 times a couple of times a day to make sure your back is getting regular movement. If you find yourself hunching over in your desk chair a lot, you can also arch backwards into your chair to counteract that hunch and feel a nice stretch.
Sitting at your desk creates a pretty uncomfortable situation when it comes to neck posture (with the help of gravity), especially if you are working on a laptop that is placed low on the desk. Again, sitting up tall, place your fingers on the front of your chin to help push your chin backwards into your neck as far as it will go, keeping your face in a forward-facing direction. You’ll probably get a few double chins in the process, but it’s all in the name of avoiding a stiff neck, so embrace it!
It’s as easy as it sounds. Placing your hands on your hips, tilt your pelvis forward, arching your back in the process, then do the opposite, tucking your pelvis under and rounding your lower back. Easy! Do this every hour to give your pelvis the movement it needs.
As well as these exercises, it is always recommended that you get up and walk around at regular intervals, so try to take advantage of morning and afternoon breaks, lunch breaks, trips to the bathroom, and so on. Stretch whenever you can, and if you can fit in a walk to and from work, or a regular pilates class, you should start to feel any aches and pains disappear.
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Please note that this blog provides general information to help posture when sitting for long periods of time. The content provided in this blog is not intended as and should not be construed as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, always consult with a doctor or other health care professional.