20 Nov Designed to Move
Many people are now taking the opportunity to work from home, which is further reducing the amount of activity people get. Here is a blog post from Janet Walker, a Toronto based Osteopath, with some suggestions on setting up your home office and how to keep “moving”, even when you have a desk job.
“Sitting is the new smoking!” It’s become a popular catchphrase, with study after study recognizing the health dangers. In response, standing workstations are showing up everywhere. But standing is not the antidote to sitting – movement is! You can’t undo the effects of sitting all day with an hour of exercise either. “Active couch potatoes” are still at increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and an early death.
You may have little choice about your work environment, but your home is your castle. Here are some ideas to make it a dynamic, movement-friendly domain.
Create space by reducing the amount of furniture. This leaves you room to pull out your yoga mat to stretch, squat or practice your plank. Remember when you were a kid and lying on the floor was the best way to watch a movie? It’s still an option. Keep some props out to remind you to move. A yoga block and stretching strap, resistance bands, foam roller and an assortment of balls (excellent for releasing tension in nooks and crannies of your feet or back). Add yoga bolsters, meditation or other floor cushions to change up the way you sit. Perfect with a low height table for dining or reading.
Choose a height-adjustable workstation that allows you the freedom to change position regularly – sit on a chair or exercise ball, perch on a stool or stand. Change it up regularly – at a minimum, take a 5 minute movement break every hour. If you don’t have a dedicated home-office you can easily move your laptop from a low stool or coffee table to your kitchen or bar-height counter, even an ironing board (the original adjustable height workstation?).
I highly recommend reading Katy Bowman’s “Move Your DNA” to learn more about how natural movement can restore your health. Having a movement-friendly home is a great start. If you need help determining what exercises are best for you try a private Restorative ExerciseTMsession. You can read more and book directly online.