Most people spend quite a lot of time seated – whether while at work, school, watching television, reading, on the computer, etc.
What effect does all this sitting have on our bodies?
Just like an iron that turns off automatically when left motionless, our bodily systems shut down when we sit for extended lengths of time. Our posture often suffers, too, as we slouch to conform to the shape of the chair we are seated on or hunch over paper work. The negative impact of these effects have even caused some to dub sitting “the new smoking”!
What can we do to counter these negative effects?
Fortunately, a lot! By engaging in some simple movements that can easily fit into your routine, you can wake up your body and improve your posture.
With the posture points listed below, you can be sure you are sitting in good form even without a mirror in front of you.
- Sit down leaving some space between your back and the back of the chair.
- Place your two fists side by side between your knees to bring your legs about hip distance apart.
- Align your knees over your ankles.
- Balance your hips evenly, making sure you are not leaning toward one side.
- Roll your shoulders up and back, allowing them to relax down in line with your hips, not leaning forward or back.
- Place your hands behind your head and neck and gently draw your head and neck into your hands, keeping your chin level and aligning your ears over your shoulders. Relax your hands down by your sides.Check your posture periodically throughout the day and review the “knees over ankles, shoulders over hips, ears over shoulders” alignment. Take an extra moment to take some deep breaths, roll your shoulders a few extra times, and rotate your wrists and ankles. Before you know it, you will be sitting up and taking notice of how much your posture has improved!
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Jackie Demeri Costello is a certified Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga Teacher and the author of the Mom’s Choice Gold Award-winning book, Animooves: Yoga & Creativity Inspired by Animals. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and http://www.animooves.com/