The sedentary workstyle that many of us have had to adopt, especially in the workplace, has led to a lot of back pain, hip pain, and generally poor posture.
By: Coach LeighAnn Clark
Of course stretching and foam rolling will help to alleviate some of this pain and help us to sit with better posture, but what if we could make the workstation itself more comfortable?
First thing you need to do is ditch the chair. When we sit with our hips at 90 degrees for hours a day most days out of the week, the muscles shorten, so when we try to stand back up again, they’re so tight that they really can’t return back to their natural position. So what happens? As we try to stretch them out to stand, they pull the top of our pelvis down into that anterior pelvic tilt which forces our back into an extremely uncomfortable position, and over time, sometimes even right away, we experience pain in our low back and tightness in our hips which can be especially noticeable during our training time.
One position we can assume anytime we need to be on the computer is a half kneeling stance. In this position, the hip flexor is allowed to lengthen because the hip is at its natural 180 degrees instead of 90. And bonus, we can squeeze the glute off and on to try to loosen up the hip flexor even more, and even bring it into that hip flexor stretch by pushing our hips slightly forward to loosen them up a bit more. You can spend a minute or so on each side, switching as much as you need throughout the day.
Another one we can try aims to get after the piriformis a little bit more. If we know that our piriformis is tight, it can have a tendency to pull on our SI joint and make us feel even more discomfort in our back. We can just hook the leg over the desk, let the knee fall along the top, oscillate the hips back and forth or lean into it; whatever we need to do to feel that muscle loosen up. Say you’re taking a long phone call or reading a long document and you don’t need to type for a couple of minutes. This is the perfect time to give it a little stretch, again switching up the leg every minute or so as many times as you can throughout the day.
If we can successfully find a way to make our workstations better suited to the “Corporate Athlete” lifestyle, then we can start focussing on our mobility to prepare ourselves to train, instead of stretching to get rid of all of the pain of the day. Check out the video for more info!