5 Daily Exercises You Can Do While SittingOct 02, 2020
Written by Brian Cheah, PT, DPT
Are you worried you’re not getting enough exercise? If you do, you are not alone! Did you know that the average American adult now spends 6.5 hours a day sitting?
In recent years, sitting throughout the day and a more sedentary lifestyle has dramatically increased. We sit at work all day, watch television, videos, and spend time on our phones at home, which increases our time spent in a chair or on a couch.
Sitting involves a predominantly flexed posture. (it would be good to add the problems that you reference below that occur as a result of a flexed posture.) There are many helpful exercises that can help “reverse” problems associated with this flexed posture and promote the posterior chain. There are articles that show what exercises you can do out of a chair, but some people may not have time to get up out of their chair to take a break. So, I have picked 5 basic exercises that you can easily perform while you sit in a chair all day.
1. Seated Piriformis Stretch
Weak or tight piriformis muscles can lead to a variety of problems. The piriformis muscle plays an important role in hip flexibility and stability.
2. Seated Hamstring Stretch
This exercise will help loosen up the back of your leg. By stretching your hamstring muscle, you can help support the rest of your muscle groups during your activities of daily living.
3. Seated Hip Flexor Stretch
This exercise is a mobility drill for your pelvis. In the video the stretch is performed on the floor in a half kneel position, but it can be easily modified while sitting in a chair (see picture). This exercise will help prevent your hips from getting too tight, and will put your entire spine in a better position.
4. Seated Thoracic Rotation
This exercise is for the mobility of your thoracic spine. This is the upper portion of your back that becomes the most flexed while sitting all day. It is important to sit up nice and tall and move your spine out of flexion when performing this exercise.
5. Scapula Squeeze
This exercise focuses on your posterior rotator cuff and mid scapular muscles. When on the computer so much, your shoulders and head may round forward. This exercise will focus on opening your chest up in order to help correct your posture while seated.
Brian Cheah is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. He first became interested in physical therapy because of his own rehab following a serious sports injury. Sports have always been an integral part of his life. Growing up, he loved playing basketball and football. Although his injury caused a setback to his sports career, he walked away from the experience with a new love for the human body and its ability to heal and grow. At Evergreen he specializes in working with sports, orthopedic, and pediatric patients.
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