Are you sitting comfortably?

Are you sitting comfortably?

Then perhaps you are a bit too sedentary?

How many hours a day do you sit down? Have you got a sitting clock?

Do you go to the gym x3 sessions per week? 60 minutes at a time so you are achieving recommended guidelines of 150 minutes of exercise a week or 5 x 30 minute sessions a week?

What happens after the exercise session then? Do you go home and sit down to watch the TV for a couple of hours? Do you go back to your desk in the office and then sit for four hours?

What do you associate with exercise and physical activity, is it just going to the gym? Would you think of walking much on a daily basis? Would you make yourself get up out of your chair more often at home so you are not sitting for hours at a time or working on your PC for hours too?

What would you consider to be your dominant posture/position daily? Seated, laying or standing? Bear in mind this includes commuting.

Just think if you are staring at that PC for a few hours at a time, what is happening to your body?

When we sit, quite often we sit towards the front of the chair so we are perched and this makes your pelvis tilt forward, keeping your hip flexor muscles in a state of contraction ie. shortened to hold the position. Your lower back will arch slightly and can get tight and weak as a result of this position.

Let’s think about your pelvis as a bowl of water. I don’t think we really focus enough on just what your pelvis is doing on a daily basis and the effect it then has on your spine!

Okay so whether seated or standing if you are tilting your pelvis forward, tipping water out the front, your lower back will arch to allow this position. so basically you are letting your belly hang out as your abdominals will be in a lengthened position. Attractive isn’t it!This is quite often a stance that women get used to after having children.

Just think how much slimmer you could look, just by getting that bowl of water to level up!

What about sitting in that chair? If we are going to sit for a length of time, we had better sit properly!

Don’t perch on the edge, nudge your bottom back and find the back of the chair.

Check that your knees are facing forward and are at a 90 degree angle, with feet flat on the floor, not perched up onto whatever ledge might be under your desk or at the kitchen table!

Try to have your upper back make contact with the top of the chair so that you have a slight curve in your lower back away from the chair rather than slouching into and tilting your pelvis back, tipping water out the back!

Always try to lengthen your spine whether seated or standing and if you are office based wherever that is and a home office counts you know, don’t just let your posture go whilst you are working at home.

Double chin warning — if you are continually looking down at your keyboard, PC, chances are you are going to develop a lovely double chin. PC, laptop, everything should be at eye level and just think about the tension you are putting on your neck in the long run.

Do you cross your legs? I know I used to but try to avoid it now as much as possible. Think what you are doing to your pelvis when you cross that leg over. All the weight shifts over to one side of your bottom, your hip lifts up on the crossed leg side so your spine has to curve over to one side and you are giving yourself a lovely scoliosis whilst holding that position!

So even though you may be achieving the national guidelines for the amount of exercise you are expected to do each week, if you are then sitting down for lengthy periods of time or standing in one position too or even laying down, you need to think about your posture.

Otherwise apart from the fact that your body does need more activity than x3 to the gym each week, you will find that back ache creeps up on you, more aches and pains will appear in those joints and you are reducing your flexibility and mobility.

So here is a check list to keep in mind every day:

Think firstly pelvis — keep the bowl of water level, don’t spill any out whether seated, standing or to a certain extent laying, although I know it is hard to control your position whilst you sleep!

Can you feel equal weight on both your bottom cheeks?

Can you feel even weight through both feet if standing?

Whilst standing what are your knees doing? Are you locking your knees and pushing the knee cap back into the leg so over tensing your thighs? Try and relax your thighs and soften the knees a little.

When you sit or stand are your knees facing forwards? Try not to let one knee turn out whilst the other faces front!

If seated are your hips, knees and ankles at 90 degrees with feet flat on the floor?

Don’t cross your legs!!!! Don’t stand and lean over to one side!! Don’t stand with your arms crossed all the time because apart from affecting your posture, it’s not very friendly!

So we have thought about our pelvis today, we will think about the upper body and posture next week.