Sitting is the New Smoking — Even for Runners

Are you an active couch potato? No?

Are you a avid runner who also works up to 9-hours a day at a desk?

If responded to the second question even slightly in the affirmative, then the correlations raised by this Runner’s World article may inspire you to move a little, to move more, or to move differently not just once a day, but throughout your daily routine. Even if you schedule regular, diligent, exercise routines into your daily regimen, this article and related studies suggest that active people who work long hours in seated positions are at risk for many negative health symptoms as their couch-potato friends. Read on and feel free to comment here…

What is YOUR “movement” solution to being stuck at your desk?

Please COMMENT and share you “movement solutions”–no matter how big or how small–with readers and with the MOVE WELL team throughout the month of October. Your input will help keep UCLA moving!

In case you are truly, “stuck” in this challenge, the HCI MOVE WELL team wanted to contribute a very low-intensity, movement sequence for you to consider (below) as a way to “re-boot” your energy, your work session, and to avoid some of the negative correlations that are mentioned in this article.

Don’t forget to COMMENT and share your “movement solutions” here with other readers!

Sincerely, The MOVE WELL Team SEATED STRETCH: 2 minutes The goal with this exercise is to further connect and unify breath and movement through dynamic stretching and spinal flexion. All you need to execute this series (a modified yoga-inspired “sun salutation”) is to push your chair away from the desk so that you have enough forward room to flex the spine at the waist. You also need room to reach your arms up from the sides. Preparation: lower the arms to their sides, and to wiggle the toes and fingers, increasing circulation to the “distal” points of the body.

Step 1: Bring the hands in front of the chest – pressing the palms together. Inhale and carve the fingertips down toward the floor and then lift arms straight side and up overhead while pressing the feet into the floor, taking focus gently up toward the fingertips/ceiling.

Step 2. Exhale, folding torso forward over lap/legs. Fold arms on legs as a brace for upper body for modified seated forward bend (***See note below on forward flexion.)

Step 3. Inhale, lift head and extend the back up and forward into a flat back position, looking straight ahead. Be mindful not to jam the neck.

Step 4. Exhale. Relax the head, fold the torso back over (as in step two).

Step 5. On the final inhale, roll up from the bottom of the spine sequentially up to a “neutral” seating posture, starting with aligning the pelvis, then the ribcage, then the chest, and then the head.

***PLEASE NOTE: this forward flexion series is not recommended for those with lower back or neck problems and, like with all physical exercise, should be attempted with sensitivity to your own bodily sensations and limitations.

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