How many hours per day do you spend sitting? More specifically, how many hours per day are you sitting at work or school, sitting for a meal, sitting in a car, sitting in front of the TV or a book? Multiply that by the number of days per week you do this. Now multiply this by the number of years you have been doing this for. It really starts to add up. Dr. Stephanie Louie explains that sitting, especially with poor posture, can put 300% more pressure on the spine than lying down, and can create a tremendous amount of back pain and neck pain. So if you spend a large portion of your day seated and you have been doing this for years, it can be harmful to your overall health.
There are times where we cannot avoid sitting all day. There are stretches, however, that can help counteract the damage that too much sitting is doing to your spine. Here are five easy stretches that you can do every day.
- Start with your neck in neutral position. Bring your right ear to right shoulder without turning your head. Repeat on the left side.
- Tip your chin up towards the ceiling so that your face is parallel to the ceiling and hold. Bring your chin down toward your chest so that you are looking at the floor and hold.
- Clasp your hands behind your back and arch your back while you straighten both arms so that you feel a stretch in your chest.
- Stand up with your feet shoulder width apart and do a side stretch. Your right arm will slide down your right leg. Try not to lean forward. Pretend there is a wall right in front of you. Now do the same on your left side.
- Gently put one leg up on a stool. With a slight micro-bend in the leg on the ground, straighten the leg on the stool and without losing the curve in your back or neck, hinge at your hips and bring your body forward.
All stretches should be held for 20-30 seconds each and done 3-5 times. Try to move as often as possible. If you can do these stretches 2-4 times per hour, you will be doing yourself a favour.
DISCLAIMER: The suggestions and advice provided by Dr. Louie should not be relied upon in place of a Chiropractic Professional Assessment.