Being locked in one position for many hours of the day is the total opposite of what the human body has evolved to do and this makes our joints and muscles unhappy.
Stiff, wonky bodies which then get taken to sports are going to have difficulties (read: injuries) because the fundamental movements needed at each joint just aren’t there in most post-childhood Westerners nowadays.
We’ve enlisted the expert advice to share five super simple things to start integrating into our day to help us out.
- Lots of people have totally lost the ability to ‘hip hinge’ and this is a major contributor to many people’s back pain. When you can’t move your pelvis and hips properly, the spine has to take the burden. A really simple way to try and teach your body how to ‘hip hinge’ better can be achieved at your desk. Sit normally in your chair and you’ll probably notice that your pelvis tips backwards and your spine follows, curving into a ‘C’ shape – you’re not working your hips here. Roll forward from your pelvis (as if you’re trying to create an arch in your lower back) and try and sit like this as often as you can. It might feel like hard work to start with, but this is just because you’re weak in this movement. As you get stronger you’ll find it much easier to hold yourself like this. A couple of times a day you can try and get the same movement happening whilst standing and bending forward – it’s all about the roll of the pelvis to create a gentle arch in your lower back.
- Crossed legs cause pelvic disparities including ‘I’ve got one leg shorter than the other syndrome’. If you must cross your legs (try not to), really try and mix up which side you cross your legs. This will help even out the demand from each side of your pelvis.
- Get up from your desk for me. Notice if you put your hands out on your desk or the arm of your chair. This is you subcontracting work that should be occurring from your muscles into the furniture around you. Every time you get up from your desk, try to not use any support. Give your glutes a good squeeze as well for a bit of extra oomph!
- Whilst you might have a desk job and a commute which chains you to a chair, try and spend as much time as possible NOT in a chair when you can. At home, rather than always sitting in your favourite chair in the same way, spend more time on the floor. It might sound simple, but getting up and down off the floor is a great workout and spending time on an uncomfy surface will encourage you to fidget and move!
- We spend almost our entire lives with our feet encased in coffins aka shoes. If people could see what dysfunctional feet do to the rest of their body and how well they move, they probably wouldn’t be so keen on wearing shoes 24/7. As much as you can, spend time pottering around barefoot and trying to mobilise all the little tiny joints and muscles in your feet. When your feet start waking up, you realise you’ve been missing out your entire life!