A work day with little movement or sitting at the desk will cause musculoskeletal disorders and heart conditions. The misconception is movement has to be extreme in order to reduce the onset of poor health. For example, standing verses sitting or speed-walking verses strolling. Below are posture facts and tips to position your body away from the onset of diseases and disorders.
Sitting | After 15 minute maximum change position.
Sitting habits may be with a leg crossed over the other, one leg’s foot tucked under the opposite buttock, or both feet between our buttocks and our seat. With repetition over an extended period of time these positions will cause joint hypermobility, weakening the hip, knee and ankle ligaments. Hip or knee replacements are due to weakness in the joint.
- Sit with feet flat on the floor.
- Raise one leg (like a recliner), knee slightly bent and foot resting on a flat surface. Switch legs.
- Raise both legs, knees slightly bent and feet with full support on a flat surface.
- Bring both feet to the right of center.
- Bring both feet to the left of center.
- Rock feet on a flat surface, teetering from toes to heels.
Standing | After 15 minute maximum change posture.
Recently there has been a big push towards standing desks. Standing for prolonged periods of time strains the circulatory system and uses more energy then sitting. Since we wake with a certain amount of energy each day it draws from our energy reserve. It increases the level of fatigue by 20%. Prolonged standing increases onset of varicose veins. For men standing increases carotid arteriosclerosis.
- Maintain knees at a slight bend to activate those muscles above the knee.
- Alternate slight bend from right to left leg every 3-5 seconds.
- Weight-shift to the right by reducing body weight through the left leg;
- alternate weight into left leg.
- Adjust width of legs between three stances: feet together;
- feet below shoulders; and
- feet slightly wider than shoulders.
- Point toes inward.
- Point toes outward.
- Slight lunge stance, feet shoulder width apart with one foot twelve-fifteen inches ahead of the other;
- alternate feet.
Movement Break | After 45 minute minimum of sit or stand.
Prolonged postures age the body. Joints may weaken due to arthritis or muscle atrophy. Atrophy is when muscle fibers reduce in size. Weak quadriceps will slow down the speed of walking. Leg and buttock muscles that are infrequently activated with exercise or frequent use are at higher risk of falls, injury, and walking impairment.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Mindfully direct feet to walk straight without inversion or eversion.
- Lengthen stride beyond comfort level.
- Walk with feet shoulder width apart.
- Walk as if walking across a tight-rope.
- Cross the right foot over the left foot with 12 inches or more distance ahead of left foot, then proceed in the same manner with the left foot crossing the right.
Legs are similar to the foundation of a building. If a natural disaster hit, a firm, grounded foundation most likely will withstand the force of nature. Stronger buttock and leg muscles have a greater average of withstanding aging and trauma.