You should be standing up for this. That is if you have been sitting for too long.
Prolonged sitting, especially in workplaces where it is the most practical position to get the job the done, has long been a health concern what with its link to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
The World Health Organization said 31 percent of individuals 15 years or older are physically inactive, and approximately 3.2 million deaths per year are attributed to this unhealthy lifestyle behavior. Physical inactivity, in fact, was defined as a pandemic in 2012.
Now that many are working from home as a way to deal with COVID-19 pandemic, prolonged sitting poses danger to more.
An article published on the United States National Center for Biotechnology Information website said “the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will not be realized for some time.”
But given the life-altering changes to people’s daily lives around the world, “we hypothesize this crisis has the potential to further impact and accelerate physical inactivity and sedentary behavior pandemic we have been confronted with and failing to address, for a number of years.”
Again, if you’ve been sitting for quite some time, maybe you should stand up now.
In addition to chronic diseases, prolonged sitting can also cause joint and muscle pains like stiff neck and shoulders, especially if a person is hunched over their keyboard endlessly typing.
Hip and back pain are also common since sitting can cause the hip flexor muscle to shorten and a poor sitting posture can put tension on the spine.
John Joseph Ogacion, a strength and conditioning coach, physical therapist, and certified sports nutritionist from a premier fitness center suggests individuals, especially home-bound workers, to find ways to move more often.
He promotes movement breaks, stretching, and engaging in hobbies or activities that require a person to stand up and move, even just a little.
For those movement breaks, Ogacion suggests these four workouts—with instructions—ideal for individuals idle for a long time.
Dead bug—Lie on your back with your arms at shoulder level raised toward the ceiling. Bring your legs up into tabletop position (knees bent 90 degrees and stacked over your hips). Slowly extend your right leg out straight, while simultaneously dropping your left arm overhead. Keep both a few inches from the ground. Bring your arm and leg back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side, extending your left leg and your right arm. That’s one rep. Continue alternating for 20 reps total.
Planking—Get on all fours with your toes on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Place your forearms flat on the floor in front of you with your elbows directly below your shoulders. Keep your core tight so your body is in a straight line from head to toe. Squeeze your thighs and butt. Keep your neck and spine in a comfortable, neutral position. Hold for 30 seconds.
Single-leg bridges—Lie flat on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor about a foot or so away from your butt. Rest your arms at your sides on the floor. Lift your right leg in the air toward the ceiling, keeping your foot flexed. Push through your left foot to lift your glutes, hips, and back off the ground. Slowly lower back down, keeping your right leg in the air. Repeat for 12 reps, then switch legs.
Bodyweight squats—Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Holding a kettlebell with both hands at your chest (you can also use a dumbbell). Bend at your knees and hips to lower your butt toward the ground, as if you’re sitting in a chair. Go as low as you can, then push through heels to stand back up. Make sure your knees don’t go past your ankles. Repeat for 15 reps.
Ogacion works at Sante Fitness Lab, a fitness and sports performance training center that offers holistic training programs, as well as innovative recovery and sports rehabilitation. SFL boasts complete top of the line equipment for cardio, strength, speed, and agility, as well as expert programming and coaching.
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