Bodyweight Exercises To Fight Prolonged Sitting
Working In an office can cause individuals to have back, neck and shoulder pain. When sat down all day we tend to sit in awkward and uncomfortable positions, often without realising. Sitting in such ways can add stress and strain to the body and increase the risk of contracting Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs).
Bodyweight exercises and stretching is a great way to combat the damage done to your body by sitting and can ease and prevent the pain. Doing bodyweight exercises will help improve strength, energy and posture.
Below are 4 bodyweight exercises for you to try at home:
- Clamshell – This move will benefit those who suffer from lower back pain. Simply lie on your right side with knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Raise your left leg but keep your left and right foot touching. Complete 15-20 repetitions on the left and right side.
- Bird Dog – This move will benefit those with hip and back pain. It will also improve flexibility and core strength. Start on all fours, with your hands under your shoulders and knees hip-width apart. Extend your left leg behind you and flex your foot. Extend your right arm in front of you with your thumb facing the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds on both sides. Complete 10 repetitions on each side.
- Hip Bridge – This exercise strengthens the back, core and lower body. Start on all fours, with your hands under your shoulders and knees hip-width apart. Extend your left leg behind you and flex your foot. Extend your right arm in front of you with your thumb facing the ceiling. Hold on each side for 30 seconds.
- Modified Side Plank – This move will improve core and shoulder strength. Lie on the right side of your body. Prop yourself up on your elbow and bend your knees at 90 degrees. Lift your hips off the ground and keep your right shoulder away from the ears. Lift your left arm overhead. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.
As well as bodyweight exercises, stretches can also be beneficial in reducing body aches and pains. When sitting in a chair all day you are using fewer muscles and you may feel your body is stiff, stretching will alleviate this.
Below are 4 stretches to ease stiffness:
- Side Bends – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, slightly bend the knees, and reach your right arm up an over your head to the left. Let your body lean into the stretch. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
- Hip Swings – Rest your hand on a chair or wall. Bend your knees slightly and slowly swing your left leg forward and back for 10 repetitions. Repeat on the other leg.
- Trunk Rotation – Lie flat on your back with knees bent. Slowly rock both legs to the left towards the ground, returning to the original position, and then rock right towards the ground. Repeat fives time on each side.
- Shoulder Rolls – Simply stand up straight and gently roll your shoulders forwards 10 times, and back 10 times.
As well as implementing these exercises and stretches into your everyday routine, make sure to have regular breaks at work where you can get up and move around. If you find that these steps are not benefitting you enough, getting a DSE assessment for your workplace may help to solve some of the issues.