According to Get America Standing, the average American is sitting for 10 hours a day! And we get it, when we’re working 8 hour days at our desks, sitting at the table for meals, and relaxing on the couch at night it can be hard not to spend 10 hours sitting.
As a yoga studio in Centerville, Ohio, we’re always trying to share ways that our community can stay healthier. So before we get into how you can fight the consequences of sitting, let’s go over what the consequences are that we’re fighting in the first place.
There is a lot of evidence that says sitting more than 4 hours per day can lead to:
- Enzymes responsible for burning harmful blood fats shutting down
- Reduced calorie burning (Metabolic rate)
- Disrupted blood sugar levels
- Increased insulin and blood pressure levels
- Leg muscles switch off
You might be thinking, “Yeah that all sounds pretty bad, but what can I really do about it?” Well, the good thing is that staying active throughout the day can help offset some of these negative side effects. The even better thing is that we have certain yoga poses that will help target all of the consequences of sitting, which means you can do less of the work and get more of the benefits. So let’s dive in!
4 Poses to Counter the Negative Effects of Sitting
1. Cat-Cow Pose
One of the biggest complaints people have from sitting too much is back pain. Luckily, a good cat-cow pose can come in and help your spine regain its full range of forward-backward motion. This pose helps wake up those back muscles and will have you feeling great.
2. Chair Pose
Take things from your desk chair to Chair Pose to work your thighs, abdomen, and butt. When you’re sitting all day, your legs don’t get to do a lot of movement. This deceivingly simple pose will activate all of those leg muscles to improve blood flow.
If you’re working on your computer or sitting on your phone, you might be guilty of hunching over. Take a second to evaluate your body language right now. Are your shoulders hunched over? Is your chest caved in? Upward Plank could be perfect for you. This pose helps stretch the front of the shoulders, the chest and the front of the ankles. It can also help strengthen the arms, core, legs and back.
4. Bridge Pose
If Upward Plank isn’t your thing, Bridge Pose is another great chest opening pose. Bridge Pose stretches the chest, neck, and spine, rejuvenates tired legs, and can reduce anxiety, fatigue, backache, headache. This is a great full-body pose that will help target almost every negative side effect from sitting.
Once you’ve found the pose that energizes you and gives you a nice stretch try to take a few stretching breaks a day. We know it can be difficult to take breaks, but try setting an alarm on your phone or scheduling break time into your day. You’ll be amazed by how much more productive you feel by taking a much-needed break.
We also offer short 30-minute practices on our online yoga platform as well as a 20-minute meditation that are both great for a little mid-day break. You can learn more by heading here.