Life is busy. For many of us, the driving force behind the chaos is work. The modern workplace environment is a compilation of long hours and a lot of sitting. More often that not, seated postures involve slumped, slouched positions and little to no breaks and the long hours disenchant the thought of exercise or extracurricular activity.
Recently, extended hours of sitting and inactivity have been linked to undesirable health effects. Some experts have even gone as far to say that sitting is the new smoking. Why? Because sitting for just a few hours a day has been linked to negative health outcomes, including elevated risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and many other chronic health conditions. It can also lead to increased muscle and joint soreness, neck pain, and low back pain due to excessive, unnatural posture (sitting!) for numerous hours a day.
The combination of physical medicine, active movement, and healthy eating all work together to combat and counteract our “addiction” to chronic sitting. Continued regular, hands-on treatments through chiropractic care and massage therapy and increasing physical activity in any and all capacities are some of the best ways to break the cycle. Routine chiropractic “tune-ups” can help improve joint motion, correct poor posture, and increase wellness through nervous system stimulation. Exercising wherever, whenever, and however we can helps to build and amplify wellness. To not incorporate movement between chiropractic treatment would be like not brushing between dental cleanings, and we highly encourage you to do both!
As was mentioned previously, life is busy. And this can make exercise seem like a grueling task. The following are four easy hacks that can act as building blocks for increasing activity and will make that mountain (incorporating exercise) seem more like a molehill.
1) Get outside during lunch
It is so easy to watch the clock hit noon, head to the fridge, grab the brown bag lunch, and immediately return back to the desk to eat. It’s so easy to stay stuck in the same posture all day long. Instead, try picking up the meal and heading right out the door to a park or even just a bench that is at least minutes from the office (since Rejuvenation Wellness neighbours Waterfront Park and the Lonsdale Quay, it is our preference). Walk, stretch, breathe, and enjoy the outdoors for those precious moments! Maybe even soak in some ever-important vitamin D.
Another option is to pack a pair of runners and take a 25-minute power walk or run before heading back to the office for a regular lunch routine. Either way, get out of the chair!
2) Take regular water cooler breaks
As depicted in a famous Seinfeld episode, the water cooler is a great place to break up a day at the office and socialize with colleagues. This breaks up the sitting routine, helps reach a goal of at least 2 litres of water per day, and improves social wellness with more human interaction.
3) Switch up the work station ergonomics
A quick and easy addition to the office is to get an exercise ball chair. This doesn’t need to be used 8 hours a day, but roll it over in place of a traditional chair for 20 minutes every couple of hours. Exercise balls force the body to contract some core muscles and improve spinal posture and stability. The more involved process of an ergonomic change would be getting an adjustable desk, which allows a choice between standing and sitting.
4) Create an office workout “circuit”
Everyone has seen those stripped down, outdoor fitness circuits found in some parks that often include a dip bar, a few chin up bars, maybe some rings, and some sort of box apparatus on which to jump. There are several tricks that can be used to create one right in the office!
· Dips off your desk or office table
· Squats against the wall
· Planks and bridges on the floor
· Lunges around the office
· Calf raises while standing next to your desk
· Wide grip pushups against the door frame
Physical medicine through chiropractic care is grossly underutilized across Canada. Contact our North Vancouver chiropractors, Dr. Lucas Tisshaw and Dr. Sarah Visconti, today to discuss neck and low back pain, shoulder pain, ergonomics, mobilization, stretches, and exercise advice.