I think it is time for a post about balance and do a check in! For the last couple of weeks, I have been feeling pretty balanced! That said, I only have had a 44% completion rate on my weekly goals. This is something I am trying to increase this week by creating more frequent longer time blocks in order to complete work and ship it.
Using the combination of the Day Designer in the morning and my Leuchtturm Journal for all other note taking and planning purposes has been golden to make me feel in control without feeling tied down and start the day feeling focused and aligned.
But with longer time blocks at my desk,
there is one thing that will become an issue.
Desk bound work activity and being an athlete.
I think it is really hard to get focused work done but not have this lingering thought of “oh crap, I am sitting, my hips are getting tight, my glutes are getting inactive, my blood circulation to my legs is getting cut off!” And so on and so forth.
I tried the standing desk, but you know, I just can’t focus!!! I can’t write, I can’t even get basic tasks done! The ability to just walk away when a problem becomes tough is too tempting! And then, also, my leg’s start to throb.
However, the truth stands
No matter how active you are, sitting is bad for you.
What does sitting do to our bodies and mind?
We all have been here. Our posture is off and we feel crappy.
- Strained neck and shoulders. Computer neck, phone neck…we all have it!
- Back problems come from the spine being stagnant for too long periods of time. Disks are compressed in a sitting position and lose flexibility, which increases the risk of herniating disks and limits the absorption of fluids at nutrients.
- Sitting puts a big strain on your abdominals and compresses all your organs. Digestion becomes sluggish, which can lead to cramping, bloating, heartburn and constipation.
- Drink your 4L of water and move around if you want things to….well, move.
- If you don’t move, your body will lose its muscle.
- Standing, balancing on a ball, moving around always activates muscles to keep balance and keep the skeleton from falling over. If you sit, muscles fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Anterior tilt (guilty)
- Tight hip flexors (guilty)
- Glutes become inactive
Mental Impact and “brain damage”
- Because of the limited blood circulation, your body is experiencing while sitting, the brain automatically also receives less fresh oxygenated blood. This will lead to a decline in brain and mood enhancing chemicals. Your body just shuts down. Leaving you to feel sluggish, tired, and joyless.
- This get’s its own category. Why? Because this is why sitting more than what is good for you, will lead to obesity.
- After just one day of sitting, your body’s ability to respond to insulin is affected and your pancreas creates more insulin than it needs, increasing the risk for diabetes.
- So get up, move your muscles, your joints, get your body’s insulin levels stable to keep diabetes far far away.
If you like those animated videos here is a good general one for what sitting does to our bodies
How do we define “long-period of sitting”?
When Sitting at Computer:
Get up for 3 minutes every 30 minutes. And do some stretches and walk around. Or do 50 minutes working and 10 minutes of activity. Multiplanar movements to get the body and your joints lubricated.
When Watching TV:
Get up during the TV commercials and stretch. Otherwise, the same principle applies 3 minutes every 30 minutes.
It is tricky to stop every 30 minutes or 50 minutes. I suggest when you are driving, listen to music, move your spine, roll your neck and squeeze your glutes, then do a series of hip opening exercises once you have arrived.
I found a few resources (youtube videos) that are short and practical that you can use to get yourself up from your desk and mobilizing your hips:
Hip Opener Videos-My Top 3
This one is really short, a quick 1-4 tutorial
Ergonomic Sitting Video
Special Find just minutes before "Shipping"
https://store.focalupright.com/ A desk and chair solution designed with the athlete in mind...
My Action Items
- Set an alarm depending on workload. Either 30 minutes with a 3-minute break, or a 50-minute alarm and 10 minutes activity.
- Do my hip Openers after every other work sessions. Will try two different stretches each time from the videos.
- Reactivate my Fitbit for sitting alerts
What are your action items?
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