Don’t just sit there – get moving!

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Health advice can vary widely. But one thing health and fitness experts seem to agree on is that
sitting for much of the day is bad for overall health, especially cardiovascular and back health.
Luckily, most of the research says an hour of brisk exercise can counteract the harmful
cardiovascular effects of sitting. And what about improving the health of your back, spine and
adjacent muscle groups? Here are some exercises to help remedy muscle strain and weakness
caused by sitting. Check with your physician before starting an exercise program.
•  Stand up: If you’re taking a call or in a long meeting, or if you can read that document while
on your feet, try standing instead of sitting –– even if it’s just for five to 10 minutes.
•  Walk: If you can take that call while walking the halls, try it.
•  Leg swings: To loosen your hips, glutes, hamstrings and inner and outer thighs, swing your
right leg backward and forward as far as you can while holding something for balance. Do 15-20
swings, and then switch legs. Also do side-to-side swings: Swing your right leg in front of you
from side to side as far as possible. Do 15-20 swings, and then switch sides.
•  Backbend with wall support: To improve posture and strengthen stabilizing core muscles,
Prevention.com recommends a supported backbend. “Stand facing away from a wall, your
heels about 1 inch away from the baseboard. With your arms over your head and elbows bent
backward so that your palms are facing the wall, slowly lean back and catch your bodyweight
with your hands. Walk your hands down the wall until you begin to feel a stretch. (You may also
need to step farther away from the wall as your back bends.) Be sure to start slowly; as your
back gets stronger, you’ll be able to go deeper into the backbend. Place the tip of your tongue
on the roof of your mouth, drop your jaw, and breathe in and out through your nostrils as you
hold the backbend.”
It might feel peculiar or awkward to exercise at work, but that’s OK. Close your office door for a
bit.

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