We know how important movement is to overall health and that movement breaks can help us to be more creative and energized. We also recognize that sometimes we might not be able to stand up from our seats as often as we’d like. For those moments here are some simple movements that can be performed while seated.
Be sure to lock the wheels of rolling chairs, ensure you are safe before performing these movements. If you have injuries or other health concerns consult your health team before attempting any new movements.
· Flex your core: Sit up tall in your chair and imagine that someone is going to punch you (lightly) in the core. Press the pelvic floor down into the seat and lift your belly button, hold this for 10-15 seconds. Remember to breath.
· Squeeze the pencil. Sit tall and imagine there is a pencil between your shoulder blades. Gently pull shoulders back and down squeezing shoulder blades together and keeping the pencil in place. You might notice an opening and lifting in the chest.
· Leg Lifts: Sit tall near the edge of your chair. Brace core and plant feet to the earth. Hinge the torso slightly back (it might help to grip the side of the chair). This might be enough work. If you’d like more intensity keep spine straight and lift booth feet on the ground, keeping knees bent and tapping toes to the earth. Perform 8-12 reps.
Stretching Exercises (these are less subtle
· Side bends: Sit tall in your chair and (if possible) reach both arms overhead, grasp the right wrist with the left hand and use the left arm to gently guide the body into a side bend. Breath slowly and hold while gently rotating the chest open. Repeat on opposite side. If you cannot reach arms overhead simply plant your hands on your desk, or let arms hang by the side while performing side bends.
· Forward fold: Sit near the edge of your seat bending both knees and planting feet. Gently extend right leg forward propping heel on the earth. Inhale sitting tall, and exhale gently leaning forward reaching torso toward thighs, and maybe reaching one or both hands toward the toes. Hold for several breaths and repeat on opposite side.
· Wrist prayer stretch: Place hands together near the center of your chest with palms touching. Keeping hands tougher gently glide hands down the torso. Once Palms begin to separate stop there. Flip hand over, fingertips pointing toward the earth and glid hands back up toward the chest, once palms separate stop the movement. Repeat 3-5 times.
Follow your instincts as you try out new movements and remember to keep breathing.
These are just a few of the many movements that can be incorporated into your day. For best health results try moving your body for a couple of minutes every hour. This will help you to feel energized and refreshed, preparing you for the next task at hand.