Friday, February 7, 2014

Tips for staying fit while you sit

There's a good chance that you're sitting while reading this... most likely in an office at work. (Don't worry, we won't tell your boss.)

There's also a likelihood that you spend a lot of your day sitting. You sit at your desk for eight or so hours each weekday, sit in a car and then you spend part of your evening sitting on a couch.

You're not alone. Sedentary lifestyles are common. But they're also not healthy.

That's why Dr. Misty Morris came to Mentor Library's Main Branch Thursday to offer some tips on how to put as little stress on your body as possible while stuck at your desk.

(By the way, none of this is a replacement for a healthy diet and regular exercise—both of which are highly recommended.)

Morris's first recommendation involves your office setup. You don't want a desk too high, a seat too low or a computer screen to close.

She recommended a desk height between 23 and 32 inches, a seat height from 14 to 24 inches, a computer screen 13 to 24 inches away from your eyes and a computer screen 10 to 16 inches above the keyboard support surface.

Morris, who has her doctorate in chiropractic from Life University, also noted the importance of body positioning. She recommended people:

  • take frequent change-of-position breaks
  • keep elbows at 90-degree angles
  • keep their head straight not tilted
  • use a phone headset
  • conduct meetings or hold conversations while standing
  • shift their eye focus from time to time and even close their eyes periodically.
Finally, Morris recommended certain stretches that people can do at their desk. You're welcome to try any and all of them.

1. While sitting in your chair, lean forward putting your chest to your thighs.
2. Clasp your hands behind your head. Now pull your elbows back, pinching your shoulder blades.
3. Shrug your shoulders.
4. Place your hands under your desk and push up.