Work! No matter how much we enjoy it, if you work in an office then it generally requires you to spend long stretches of time sitting or not moving terribly much.
Being inactive can be one of the worst things for us and ?sitting? can be one of the most detrimental non-activities. Anyone working long hours in an office or in front of a computer will really need to address the ergonomics of their working set up. Time and money spent on getting the best possible ergonomic set up will pay off immeasurably.
Think about the sitting position for a moment ? flexed in all our joints; at the mercy of gravity; shortening and disabling our hip flexors and abdominals; slumping back muscles; forward head ? the list goes on unfortunately. Attention to our posture and positioning is crucial from day to day, including the need to combat these position-based issues as a daily habit and as an ongoing focus.
Taking regular Pilates sessions will give you targeted attention to addressing your specific needs and working progressively on long term strengthening and postural correction. Pilates sessions in a studio with a properly qualified instructor will give you the most benefit for changing postural patterns, although group Pilates classes on Mat or Reformer will also help keep problems at bay and strengthen and condition the whole body.
Along with structured, consistent Pilates practice it is of great importance to do regular, short sequences that will help enormously to change your holding and postural patterns. This is where you throw caution to the wind and become the talk of the office as you Roll Down and Posture Up for the benefit of your own mind, body, health and wellness. Let the office talk!
Alright, so you don't want to hit the floor and do the Hundred in front of everyone, but you certainly can find a very brief sequence that you can do regularly and discreetly in your office.
The best way to work out an office routine that suits you is to have your regular Pilates instructor put together several movements that you know how to do mindfully, and that are specific to your needs.
Then ? do them. You will make a huge difference to your body, mind and health by simply adding some regular Pilates movements to your day, minimising postural dysfunction and reducing the dreaded chair slump.
- Hands clasped behind your head, press the base of your skull into your hands to lengthen and draw the neck into good alignment. Inhale to extend your upper back upwards and backwards, using the back of the chair to help you bend in the upper or thoracic spine. Keep your ribs and abdominals drawing in and shoulders relaxed.
- Keeping an upright torso and hands clasped behind the head position, alternate Side bending and Rotations; always with moving from the abdominals and ribs drawing in, pelvis stable and using an exhale for each movement.
- Stand and hold the back of your chair. Keeping your torso upright and abdominals pulled in, step one leg back into a lunge, stretching the front of the hip. Hold for 2-3 breaths and then change sides.
Do these regularly to help with movement patterns, muscle release, torso control, circulation of blood and oxygen, and a host of other health benefits. You will feel so much better ? and be more productive too.
Enjoy your days in the office!