Our entire modern world is constructed to keep you sitting down. When we drive, we sit. When we work at an office, we sit. When we watch TV, well, you get the picture.
As studies emerge classifying sitting for extended periods as bad to our health, wobbly stools and exercise balls are replacing office chairs, pedal sets are being installed under desks and everyone’s talking about how to stay physically active while seated at their desk.
Fact: Good posture is the basis for active sitting, so if we start off slumped, we might not get anything out of it at all.
Sit up straight on the ball with your legs out in front of you. They should be at a 90 degree angle to your thighs and parallel to the ball — this part is very important. Your feet will be directly under your shoulders.”
Myth: Active sitting is a good way to get in shape.
“Active sitting is still sitting, Sitting on a ball will not help with loosing weight or increase your fitness level.”
Fact: Sitting for long periods of time can also decrease blood flow to the muscles that are trying to hold us upright. Without good blood flow, our muscles can get tired.
Having tired muscles makes us more likely to slouch or sit with poor posture. This poor posture further decreases blood flow, making muscles even more tired and increasing the strain on our back.
With good posture blood flow and oxygen intake improve.
Myth: While sitting on a ball joint pain may go away.
Active sitting might help ease the pain but it will not replace actual exercise.
Fact: Long periods of the sitting is more likely the cause of joint pain than exercise.
Exercise tips during breaks:
- Sit on your exercise ball in the active sitting position. Now try with your feet closer together … it’s harder, isn’t it?
- Lift one foot off the ground slightly and hold out your arms for balance or hang on to a nearby table.
- See how long you can hold this position. The key is to keep actively sitting. If you lose your good posture, stop and try again. Try this exercise with each leg five times.
- While you’re still actively sitting, slowly move the ball forward and backward, or side to side, or in circles with just your hips.
- Notice that your muscles have to work to help keep your great posture.
Good posture is key for this exercises.