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5 Smart Ways to Keep Moving While You Sit

By Sandy Schroeder

Many of us sit too much at work and at home. Now we know how dangerous sitting really is. Scientists say sitting ranks right up with there with smoking.

Building short 5-minute breaks into every hour that we sit is a good start. Set a timer and get up and stretch or walk around. In an 8-hour day these brief breaks will add 40 minutes of activity to your day.

AMA Health Guidelines

The American Heart Association recommends getting 150 minutes per week of moderately intense activity such as walking, along with two days of moderate strengthening activity, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both. At the same time, AMA recommends less sitting time. Here are some ways to move while you sit and work.

Move While You Sit

Fidgeting or exercising in your seat is another way to attack the problem. When you sit for too long your back and shoulders tighten, your mind slows down, and your mood may darken.

Chinese Chair Exercises

Dr. Luke Jih, director of the Golden Light Institute of Body Mind Advancement, suggests four Chinese seated exercises for arms and back to reduce tension, encourage relaxation, lift the spirit and strengthen the mind and body. These exercises are a little like doing tai chi while you sit, and they may have some of the same effects.

Stretch and lean - Take a deep breath, bend the left arm and put the elbow on the left knee. Exhale and lift the right arm over the head and bend 45 degrees to the left. Stretch and hold for a few seconds. Return to center and repeat five times.

Circle arms - Inhale as you lift arms above head. Exhale as you lower them to the thighs, but do not touch legs. Circle arms out and lift them back up again. Repeat five times matching your breath to your movements.

Palms up - Put your right palm on top of your left palm and inhale as you rotate palms and lift them up over head. Feel your spine lift as you reach upward. Slowly reverse the process lowering palms and exhaling. Gradually lower your arms to your sides. Repeat five times.

Relax and breathe - Put your palms over your belly button, close your eyes and take a deep breath to let the stress go. Start and end the day with this simple stress-relief exercise.

Stand up and stretch - Take a moment to stand up and stretch to release the tension in your body and clear your mind. You may want to do more stretches and take a short walk, creating a five-minute break from sitting.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Brea, Calif.

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