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Sitting down is slowly killing you – how to fight back!

July 5, 2017


The modern world is full of ironies – why IS all the best tasting food so bad for you, right? One of those ironies is sitting. How glorious it seemed when we created machines and technology to do all the hard work, freeing us up to pull the strings from behind a desk, comfortably indoors and in a big fancy office chair. But there is now mounting evidence that spending all our working lives sitting down is slowly killing us!


The article above clearly outlines the negative effects of sitting and provides a few good examples of how to combat those negative effects.


As physiotherapists, we see the effects of sitting on the joint and muscle health first hand on a daily basis. Sometimes, people sustain an injury doing something simple, like picking up a pen from the floor and wonder how so much pain could result from such a task! They often don’t realise that it was “the straw that broke the camel’s back”, and that most of the damage was done over years of sitting down, heavy lifting etc.


Here are a few more fantastic exercises you can do to reverse some of the effects sitting has on your body and improve your flexibility.


OPEN BOOK STRETCH: Lay on your side with the top leg bent and the bottom leg straight as shown, breathe in as you take the top arm across your body as shown, turning your head and shoulders with it. Try to keep your knee on the floor in front of you. Breathe out as you hold, then return to the start position and repeat. Do this 10-15 times.


UPPER THORACIC EXTENSION: Place a rolled towel or foam roller along a Pilates mat as shown. With a pillow for your head, lower your upper back down and across the roll so it is positioned in between your shoulder blades, below the neck. Make sure to keep your lower back flat as shown. Hold this position, taking deep breaths for 45-60 seconds. Repeat the process 2-3 times.

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