If You Sit At A Desk For More Than 6 Hours, Read This.Apr 11, 2023
The High Performance Journal - April 11th 2023
I've got a love/hate relationship with modern living.
On one hand, it's amazing that I can type on this keyboard and change millions of lives at the point of a click.
On the other hand, since 9 am I've been sitting at my desk. I can start to feel my upper back starting to get sore and don't get me started on my hips and low back.
Once the day is done, I will have sat at my desk for at least 5 hours or more, which is not good.
People say "sitting is the new smoking" and I agree with them.
Sitting for long periods of time can lead to nasty things like:
- Poor posture
- Obesity & weight gain
- Neck, shoulder & lower back pain
- Increased risk for depression + anxiety
Humans were meant to move but modern life doesn't promote that now does it?
So in today's lesson, I want to share with you some effective ways to reverse the effects of sitting.
Think of this as a checklist or a set of behaviors to follow so you don't fall prey to those nasty things above.
6 Proven Ways To Reverse The Nasty Effects Of Sitting
1. The McGill Big 3
When you're standing up or moving your core & back muscles are working to keep you upright. When you sit these muscles aren't working and remain passive.
Over the course of time, these muscles weaken, which can lead to lower back pain and a whole host of other negatives throughout the body.
Enter the McGill Big 3, which consists of the McGill crunch, side plank, and bird dogs.
I do these 3 exercises religiously for my lower back.— Dan Go (@FitFounder) July 6, 2021
They’re called the McGill Big 3 & they consist of:
1. The McGill Crunch
2. Side plank holds
3. Focused & Activated Bird Dogs
They build endurance in the low back & core while increasing core stability.
Instructions 👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/gs9NeahnzG
They work because they activate the major parts of your core:
- Transverse abdominis
- Internal and external obliques
- Erector spinae
- Pelvic floor muscles
- Rectus abdominous
When you do these make sure to push out aka. brace your abs to activate them. Aim for 6 reps for each exercise and this can be done daily.
2. Glute Bridge Holds
Your glutes are supposed to be the strongest muscle in your body.
But when you sit for long periods of time you put pressure on your glutes aka. your butt muscles. This also keeps them in a lengthened position.
When this happens your hip flexors get tight and your glutes start becoming weaker.
Glute bridge holds help remind you to use your glutes while helping strengthen them in a safe way.
Also, if you suffer from low back pain this may give you some relief as the activation of your glutes takes the pressure off your back.
The way to do these is by simply lying down and raising your hips using your heels.
Pretend as if you're trying to squeeze a quarter between your butt cheeks to amplify your glute activation. Aim for 12-15 reps every day.
3. Passive Bar Hangs
Bar hangs are one of the most underrated exercises on the planet.
When you sit for long periods of time your posture starts to round and your shoulders start to turn in.
When you hang from a bar, even for a few seconds, you help correct your posture while also decompressing your spine.
Grip strength is also an indicator of how long you'll live for.
4. Neck CARs
When you sit for long periods you put force on the discs in your lower back, which forces the muscles in the back of the neck to contract to hold the neck up.
Do this for hours on end and it may result in neck pain or stiffness over time.
Neck CAR stands for controlled articular rotation, which is a fancy way of saying that you're taking your neck through a full range of motion.
Great stretch for people who sit at desks.— Dan Go (@FitFounder) February 2, 2023
It's called a Neck Car (controlled articular rotation)
1. Stand in good posture.
2. Rotate both sides of the neck in a controlled fashion
3. Start with 5 reps per side
Your neck & posture will thank you for doing this. pic.twitter.com/A40wtkZjnu
Follow the instructions on the video and remember to use your own range of motion. Do not force things. Aim for 6 reps per side every day.
5. The Couch Stretch
As mentioned before, when you sit for long periods your hip flexors shorten and tighten. When they do this it can lead to a cascade of problems like low back and knee pain.
An effective way to combat this is by doing the couch stretch.
The couch stretch extends the hips and increases the range of motion in your quadriceps. When you get full range of motion in these two areas you set up your legs for a lifetime of good health and mobility.
The beginner version is putting your leg on a couch and bringing your body upright. If it's too tight then take the pressure off by leaning forward.
The advanced version is leaning the front of your foot on a wall in the same position.
Do this for 30 seconds to one minute daily.
The easiest most accessible thing you could do (other than the above) is go for a walk.
I've talked at length about walking and yet it still remains the most underrated form of exercise you could ever do.
Sitting is the new smoking but you can do something about it.
Incorporate a few of these into your busy lifestyle so you can protect your body from the nasty effects of sitting.
You don't need a gym nor are there any downsides to doing these.
It's a win/win if you ask me.
Try these out, let me know how they went and I'll see you in the next email.
Whenever you’re ready, there are 2 ways I can help you:
1. If you’re still looking to get lean, I’d recommend starting with an affordable course:
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2. Are you an entrepreneur who wants to get lean, boost energy, and get in your best shape in 2023?
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