If you have a desk job, take extra care of your body. Long hours sitting at a desk (or any prolonged, daily sitting) puts you at risk for some fitness and health problems.
Patterns of postural dysfunction are commonly called postural distortion patterns. Distortion patterns occur because the structural integrity of the kinetic chain (human movement system) is compromised due to the misalignment of one or more of its components.
Okay, enough technical language……
Here are some common problem areas for desk workers:
a. Tight hip flexors, hamstrings and calves.
b. Postural problems such as hunched, rounded shoulders and forward head position.
c. Limited lumbar spine extension and a stiff thoracic spine.
d. Tight external hip rotators with limits hip joint range of motion.
e. Shoulder blade alignment problems and miscellaneous shoulder ailments.
f. Miscellaneous muscle strains and imbalances. Muscle imbalances are caused by postural stress, pattern overload, repetitive movement, lack of core stability and lack of neuromuscular control.
What are some warning signs that you are headed for postural problems/injuries?
a. Tissue trauma
c. Muscle spasms
d. Muscle adhesions
e. Loss of normal neuromuscular control
4 Things You can do to Avoid Desk Job Posture:
1. Walk during work breaks. Just doing this will give you 30-40 minutes of moderate exercise during the day. This technique is also an underestimated calorie burner.
2. Do flexibility stretches every hour at your desk. Kneeling hip flexors, calf, hamstring, quad, peroneals, adductors, neck, spine and other stretches will help keep you flexible and relaxed. Standing trunk rotations, arm circles, leg swings and pectoral exercises are also good.
Common injuries are hamstring strains, groin strains, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, shoulder pain, patellar tendonitis and low back pain. Headaches are also common with desk workers.
3. Follow a regular strength (3 times a week) and interval cardio exercise program (2-3 times a week). All it takes is 30 minutes to 1 hour a day. Among other benefits, this will give you needed muscle mass gain, fat burn, heart health and strong bones.
Core stabilization exercises such as tube walking, bridges, planks are also very important.
4. Invest in a stand-up desk. This will keep your blood circulating and also help you burn more calories during the day. Just be sure to stand up correctly or you are headed for—postural problems!
Need a good, short workout to do at work—see below.
Be sure and download your FREE 7-Day Fat Loss Jumpstart e-Course, which shows you how to totally remake your body a healthy and lean fat-burning machine!
Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Her Fitness Hut