I am always preaching about the importance of mobility. Most of the time I am telling you what TO DO, for example, learn how to stretch Wharton Style or complete our Yoga for Runners Routine. For a change, I am going to tell you what NOT TO DO.
Stop sitting. It’s as simple as that. In a great article that appeared on businessweek.com, Arianne Cohen talks about public enemy #1. You guessed it. The Chair.
I spend a lot of time teaching proper running mechanics with the use of classic running drills and improving posture by enhancing one’s core routine. After upwards of 9 hours spent in a chair, most adults have turned that nice ‘S-shape’ in their spine into a ‘C-shape’. Furthermore, their hip flexors have been engaged for the better part of the day. When your low back, hips, hamstrings, and hip flexors are tight, this takes a major toll on your running mechanics.
Here are a few key points from the article:
1) Regular exercise is not a free pass to sit as much as you want
2) “Frequent TV and Web surfers (sitters) have higher rates of hypertension, obesity, high blood triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, and high blood sugar, regardless of weight. Lean people, on average, stand for two hours longer than their counterparts.”
3) Lumbar support doesn’t actually help your back
4) The Swivel Chair is a $3 Billion industry in the U.S.
5) The best sitting alternative is perching – half sitting, half standing
Here are 2 Tips if you must sit all day:
1) Get up and stretch regularly (set your watch alarm every 30 minutes)
2) Ensure that your work station is set up properly (butt all the way back in the chair, feet in front (not tucked under), and computer screen high enough so you are not looking down)