3 Healthy Tips to Surviving Life at the Office
By Dr. Molly Casey
So many people these days spend an inordinate amount of time seated, whether in a work cubicle or at a home office computer. Unfortunately, there can be health complications as a result. We chiropractors regularly see the effects of this with our patients. Those who live a sedentary lifestyle and don’t move may suffer lost flexibility in the spine and joints; be at higher risks for obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as other chronic diseases; suffer decreased metabolism (how well you burn and use energy); and increased chances of osteoporosis.
Below are a few tips, or a daily guide, on how to minimize the health ramifications of prolonged sitting. These are in addition to maintaining optimal spinal health through regular chiropractic care, which helps keeps the spine moving as well as possible and, in turn, supports the health of the nervous system. A healthier spine and nervous system translates to a healthier body, which increases the chances for a happier life.
Just because we need to breathe, and do it naturally doesn’t mean we all do it correctly. In fact, most people don’t breathe correctly. Breathing correctly has many benefits including, but not limited to, proper oxygenation throughout the entire body, increased immunity, and decreased stress and tension.
To breathe correctly:
- Sit up straight, shoulders down and back and holding a gentle yet firm posture
- Inhale bringing air in through your nose and all the way down into your belly until it’s full (your belly should puff out as far as it can comfortably -- not pushing)
- Pause one moment
- Exhale letting air out through your mouth (your belly should release back into a flat position); make sure to let it all out
- Pause one moment
Every 15 minutes at your desk take 30 seconds and focus on your breath. The more you practice this the more it will become second nature.
Prolonged poor posture is traumatic to the body. Most folks these days have moderately poor posture. This can decrease the functioning of our organs and glands, and over time restricts range of motion in joints. One of the easiest ways to interrupt the poor posture patterning is through stretching.
Open your chest and shoulders:
- Either seated or standing, sit up straight, pull shoulders down and back
- Bring arms out to each side, palms of the hands facing up toward the sky and reach your thumbs back toward the floor puffing your chest up and out
Open your hips and low back:
- Seated with both feet on the ground, take your right ankle and rest it on the knee of the left leg. Gently press the right knee down toward the ground
- Lean forward, let arms hang down toward ground
- Repeat other side
Every 30 minutes at your desk, take 1-2 minutes and perform these stretches.
Every possible chance you have, get up and walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk to deliver something instead of handing it off to your assistant. Walk the neighborhood at lunch instead of taking meetings. Walk. Walk. Walk.
You can’t necessarily change your work situation in this exact moment. You can, however, change how you exist and work within it. Let this information help you do so in a healthier manner! And the next time you’re in The Joint Chiropractic for your regular adjustment, be sure to ask the chiropractor what you can do to help decrease the trauma of your prolonged sitting or other work-related repetitive postures.
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this page are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this post is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics, including but not limited to the benefits of chiropractic care, exercise and nutrition. It is not intended to provide or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your chiropractor, physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this page.