You need good posture.
Not just because your mom told always told you to stand up straight, but because your body wants you to have good posture. But where it gets tricky is that your body doesn’t always know what good posture because it may have been so long ago!
Standing tall with your shoulders back can boost your confidence and help your (3) big lifts. But this can be difficult for a modern day guy or gal because odds are you sit all day long in the office and then go home to sit again!
When we sit for extended periods of time our shoulders roll forward, our necks creep towards the computer monitor and our upper spine (thoracic spine) rounds. Problem is, when we do this enough our bodies just decide to stay put.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to help combat the effects of sitting. And offices all over the world are taking note that fitness is important for employee health and morale.
Below are 4 of my favorite exercises you can do at the office, providing you are healthy. Although not primarily strength building, these exercises will enhance your mobility and help keep your hips and lower body from becoming too tight.
If you have the mobility to sit in a deep squat, then by all means, squat! This is an excellent natural resting position that is one of the best things you can do to help maintain good movement in your hips. It will also help to keep good flexibility in your calves. Can’t squat all the way down such that your calves are touching your hamstrings? No problem, just go as far as you comfortably can and come back up.
Make a habit of squatting down several times throughout the day. How about each time you talk on the phone? Or whenever you return to your office? And don’t worry about watching the clock, just squat for as long as is comfortable.
If the squat is uncomfortable, then try this: Head to the stairwell (hopefully, not your first time using the stairs at work!) and walk a couple floors two steps at a time. Maybe three steps if you have long legs. The intention is to reintroduce some movement at your hips and get those hip flexors and glutes working again.
Every time you find yourself talking on the phone, stand up. Simple as that. You don’t need to stand for the entire call, but let the ringer be a reminder that you need to move and leave that chair behind.
Make an effort to trek across the office to actually speak to someone versus sending them an email. I used to live on a cube farm as well so I understand that it can be more time consuming to chat with a colleague versus simply sending them an email. But what’s that quiet voice you’re hearing in your head – the art of conversation?
How often should you move?
Well, the experts seem to agree that every hour you better get up and move. Doing so can lower your risk of heart disease and may even boost your efficiency. Whether it’s walking across the building or performing one of the movements above, you better move it or lose it!
So, what about the shoulders? How about the upper back? I’ll cover both of these areas in an upcoming post – stayed tuned.4 easy exercises you can do at the office by Ryan Wagner