By Chris Golden, Middle School Learning Specialist
At the end of digital school last spring, I was so happy to get off my computer, get moving more regularly and tackle some of the home projects that my wife and I had planned. All of these jobs were physically demanding and involved little to no sitting, which was just what my body needed.
Sitting for 8ish hours each day is just not what our bodies were meant to do. As a result of all this sitting, I had developed aches and pains in my hips, lower back and shoulders. By the end of the summer, all my aches and pains had pretty much gone away. I have come to realize, duh, that it was because I was moving!
Coming into digital school this fall, I was determined to do things differently. I decided that I needed to move more often and embarked on a routine of stretching and mobility that I hoped would help me avoid those aching pains. I also realized that doing these exercises once a day before my evening workouts wasn’t going to cut it, so I made it my goal to do them at least twice during the workday as well. And to be clear, these are not long routines. They usually lasted around 10 minutes at most and could be performed just three feet from my workspace. The routine that I personally use is known as the Agile 8 and is essentially a mobility warmup created by a strength and conditioning coach for powerlifters. Now, I’m no powerlifter, but I've used this routine for years as the warm-up for my strength training workouts and it’s done a great job of loosening up my hips, lower back and shoulders. It's nothing fancy, and except for the use of a foam roller, consists of nothing but body-weight movements. I try to do it first thing in the morning and again after lunch. I've been consistent, more or less, for the last month and have noticed a positive change in how my hips, lower back and shoulders feel.
While this routine may not be for everyone, I do feel anyone enduring aches and pains from prolonged sitting could benefit from moving more often during these long days on the computer. Below are several links that readers can access to find a routine that fits their temperament. Take a look at them, pick one that appeals to you, give it a try for at least two weeks and I can almost guarantee that you’ll feel better.
Staying Loose When You’re Stuck at Home - Stretching is the perfect way to keep your body moving while you're stuck at home. It requires very little space, there's no sweating and it's basically silent (your neighbors may not love your jumping jacks as much as you).
Yoga at Your Desk – 10-minute Office Yoga Stretches
Easy Stretches You Can Do in Your Home Office - Ways to reverse the toll of ergonomically-challenged work environments on your body
10 Quick Stretches For Anyone Who Sits In A Chair Most Of The Day - Your stiff muscles after stretching: "Aaaaah." And doing all 10 takes less than seven minutes.
15 Simple and Quick Office Stretches to Boost Work Efficiency - They’re simple, quick AND they’ll give you that energetic boost you need to increase your productivity – it’s a win-win situation!