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Here are three tips to curb damage from prolonged sitting

Sitting causes imbalances in the body that can develop into injury and most people have to sit for long periods of time

Vahdaneh Vahid

Published: Updated:

Sitting causes imbalances in the body that can develop into injury. Nowadays, most people find themselves in situations where they have to sit for long periods of time. There are effective strategies you can utilize to help prevent the damaging effects of sitting.

1. Set a timer to give yourself 10-20-minute intervals throughout the day to walk around to help increase blood circulation in your muscles. If this is not manageable, even standing every 20 minutes and sitting back down will be effective.

2. If you wish to make your breaks even more beneficial, applying a static hip flexor stretch will help open up the muscles at the front of the hips, which become tight from sitting.

- Knee down on the ground
- Take one leg back and stretch it behind your hip
- Keep both knees on the ground
- Lean forward with your hips
- Squeeze your butt and pull your belly button in so you activate your core muscles
- Hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds on each side - you will feel a deep stretch at the front of the hip that has the leg stretched out behind.

3. How to apply a good sitting posture:

Stage 1

Draw your belly button in to activate your core muscles, then slowly allow your pelvis to go into an anterior tilt - as if you are pushing your butt back - but only slightly. This helps keep you lower back stable.

Stage 2

We need to activate your mid-back - your thoracic spine - which tends to be rounded as we sit, so the focus should be to keep it extended and straight.

Slightly lift your chest up, retract your shoulder blades together, and focus on breathing into you ribcage slowly and deeply. You may feel a slight burn in the mid-back - this is good as you are activating these postural muscles correctly.

Stage 3

Be aware of your head positioning. Our heads tend to lean forward while we sit, so we need to integrate this all with the entire back. Slightly pull your head back and tuck your chin in.

This is not something you are expected to do throughout the duration of sitting, but doing so several times a day will help you become more aware of your posture and activate weak muscles.

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Fitness expert Vahdaneh Vahid can be reached on Facebook and Instagram.