Sitting is the new smoking
26 April 2018
Sometimes, the busier we are in the office, the less we make the effort to move. A lot of our working hours are spent sitting on a chair, often leading to stiff joints.
Photo: Sport Singapore
It is time to get mobile and move our limbs, to improve our balance, strength, and mobility. Leave your mobile devices and laptops behind, and let’s get moving.
Check out this series of stretches to kick-start your quest to improved mobility.
This pose stretches your posterior shoulder muscles.
1. Stand tall, place one arm across your chest, and use your other arm to press it closer. Both your arms should be perpendicular to each other.
2. Hold the stretch, and switch your arms after 15-30 seconds.
This stretch targets your entire forearm.
1. Straighten one arm in front of you. Your palm should be facing upwards.
2. Point your fingers downwards and use your other hand to pull that palm towards you.
3. Make sure to keep your palm and forearm taut while doing so. 4. Switch sides to carry out the exercise on your other arm.
This pose stretches your spine, calf, and back muscles, and also works your hips. You may use a chair or table to keep your balance.
1. Stand several feet behind a table and stretch your arms overhead.
2. Slowly bend forward, with both arms still extended, pivoting at your hips.
3. Keep your arms out-stretched until it touches the edge of the table or chair.
Standing leg raises
This exercise will work your leg and back muscles.
1. Hold onto a chair or table.
2. Lean forward slightly and tuck your abdomen in.
3. Lift one leg up, until the inner thigh is parallel to the ground, before lowering it down in a controlled manner.
4. Repeat the exercise with your other leg.
Like wringing a sponge, the spinal twist is a good way to stretch out your lower back.
1. While you are seated, keep your knees aligned and twist your torso to the left.
2. Hold and return back to a neutral position before twisting to the right.
Strengthen your core, butt muscles, and legs by carrying out classic squats.
1. Start in an upright position.
2. Bend your knees until your thighs are almost parallel to the ground, and raise your arms straight out in front of you while doing so.
3. Hold this position for 15 seconds and carry out 4 - 6 repetitions.
Single leg squats help strengthen your calf muscles and your core, as well as improve balance.
1. Stand straight and extend one leg out.
2. Slowly lower yourself into a squat position while keeping the extended leg stretched out.
The shin stretch works out your shin tendons and quadriceps.
1. Get to a kneeling position.
2. Slowly sit back on your heels and place your hands behind you.
3. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds.
A small amount of time spent stretching will go a long way to maximizing your mobility, and help you achieve a more productive work week and an energetic life. Remember, you do not have to do all of these exercises perfectly – it is about stretching regularly and getting better bit by bit.
To find out more about how you can take ownership of your health, sign up for a FREE experiential Onboarding session at the Active Health lab. Guided by Active Health Experts, you will receive an assessment of your current health and fitness level. From there, our experts can customise exercise and wellness programmes that suit your lifestyle.