Do you have lower back pain and a desk job? Read this.
It’s true to say that our lives have changed a lot in the last 25 years. With the invention of the computer and the internet we now spend more and more time sat down and in front of a screen. We have essentially become massively more sedentary. Most of us are ‘desk jockeys’!! This is one of the main factors why we currently have an obesity and diabetes epidemic in the western world. We as human beings evolved as hunter gatherers wandering the savannahs of Africa and moving around all time. The opposite of what we do today.
I am a strong believer in building small habits each day that over the long term will reap great benefits. This is what I do with most clients and it’s called ‘habit’ based coaching. So in this article I want to provide you with some things you can do each day that will help you to be healthier and combat some of the ‘negative’ things we experience from sitting too much.
10 minute rule
Every hour aim to spend 10 minutes just moving around. If you’re at work go and get a cup of tea. This will also give your eyes a chance to rest and help them to stay in tip top condition. Try taking a few deep breaths, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. You can also try moving your joints in circles eg shoulders, hips and neck.
This is a great stretch I learnt from Bret Contreras and it’s a great one to combat ‘computer posture’. You can do this seated or standing. Raise your arms so they’re by your sides and parallel with the ground as if you were making your body into a T shape. Next point your thumbs towards the wall behind you and hold for 20-30s. This will stretch your chest and help to pull you back because most of us ‘slouch’ over when on a computer.
This might sound funny but stay with me on this one. So you’re going tosqueeze your buttocks as hard as you can for 30s everyday. Why? Well whilst your poor bottom is being squashed all day the muscles there tend to become ‘lazy’ so to speak. This is not bueno! Your glute muscles are super important for athletics and they help you with a lot of everyday movements you perform subconsciously like walking up stairs and sitting up out of a chair. Whilst we’re talking glutes if you’re at home you could perform frog pumps or glute bridges which will get your butt muscles firing too. In this video Bret Contreras shows you how to perform frog pumps
Hip hinge exercises
Due to the fact that whilst you are sat your hips are in 90 degrees for hours on end this creates a lot of tightness in certain places. Lots of ‘desk jockeys’ have tight hip flexors which can cause lower back pain and ‘bad’ posture. Performing exercises like the glute bridge, hip thrust and kettlebelll swings can all help you again with the negative aspect of sitting down a lot. You can also perform a few hip flexor stretches. I like this mobility exercise too that is presented here by Max Shank. It's dynamic and hits all the areas that need work for most people who work at desks a lot.
So there you have it. A few simple things that will take up a few minutes of your day that you can do for the rest of your life!
Strength and salud.