Written by: Jan Earl de Chavez BKin-AT, CAT(C)
During the past few months, the global pandemic caused a lot of changes to everyone’s lives. Students found themselves studying and being tested at home for their courses. Jobs were modified to be able to be done remotely through video conference. Of course, a lot of people found themselves with more free time, which some spent on entertaining themselves with hobbies. Regardless of the reason, a sizeable majority are now engaging in prolonged sitting behind a desk whether for school, work or entertainment. This article is gives tips for practicing the best posture and body positions for you when sitting for a long time.
1) Chair height
Ensure that your chair is high enough that your forearms are parallel with the keyboard and mouse. If raising your chair causes your feet to no longer touch the floor, then I suggest investing in a foot rest or a stool. Otherwise your feet will have the tendency to cross over each other for support.
2) Monitor adjustments
The top of the monitor on your desk should just be a little bit higher than your eye level, and should be at least half a metre away from your eyes. If you are on a laptop, refer to the next tip for posture, but also ensure the screen is the right distance away from you.
The best posture when working behind a desk is sitting upright with the neck straight and chin tucked. Shoulders are relaxed, forearms resting on the arm rests. It is important to correct yourself every time you begin to slouch, otherwise you will slouch more and more. Also note that sitting upright does not mean arching your back all the way. Sitting upright is just adjusting how your hips are sitting on the chair by rotating it.
4) Take breaks
Long periods of sitting can lead to muscular or joint issues. It is important to take a short walk and stretch break for 5 minutes every hour, or 10 minutes every hour and a half of sitting. Don’t forget to also move your upper body around. Breaks can also help with resting your eyes from all the screen time.
5) Keyboard and Mouse
If you utilize your keyboard a lot for work or entertainment, ensure that it is helps not hinders your performance. The keyboard should have a wrist rest so that your wrists remain straight when pressing keys. The same goes if you utilize your mouse a lot. Your mouse pad should have a wrist rest, alternatively you can place a small rolled up towel underneath your wrist to keep straight.
These are just some tips to keep in mind when sitting behind a desk. A lot of today’s equipment such as chairs and desks can be adjusted to provide its user the most comfort and ensure productivity.
If you developed issues from prolonged sitting, I may be able to assist through athletic therapy treatments. Come visit me at Insahyu Training + Therapy, located at 250 Saulteaux Crescent, or you can visit our website and book online.
Written by: Taylor Post
Certified Athletic Therapist
When it comes to exercise, there a two kinds of people in the world. Those who love cardio (cardiovascular exercise), and those who avoid it like the dentist. If you would rather have a root canal than sweat it out on the treadmill, look no further! We have come up with some creative ways for you to skip the elliptical and help introduce some cardio into your workouts.
First off, why is cardio so important anyway? Aerobic exercise burns calories to help keep a healthy weight, lower blood pressure, and increase cardiac output. This means more blood is pumped with each heartbeat, which leads to less overall stress on your heart and a lower resting heart rate. A stronger heart also makes daily activities like climbing stairs and moving your body at home or at work much easier.
As much as cardio gets a bad rep, it is a true foundation of physical fitness… but it often leads to hours of plodding along like a zombie among the rows of exercise machines at the gym. Is anyone else sick of watching re-runs on HGTV or the food network while jogging?? Instead, try these 4 sneaky, less monotonous ways to get the benefit of a cardio workout.
Try an AMRAP
Superset with a Cardio Move
Inject your regular strength routine with an exercise or movement that will elevate your heart rate. Superset means moving from one exercise to another without a break in between. Simply pair up a traditional strength exercise, with one that is more cardio based. This will keep your heart rate and metabolism up without hindering your weight training goals to build muscle. Aim to perform 3-4 sets of 6-15 repetitions. You can rest 60-90 seconds between sets, but not between the two different exercises (eg. perform 10 jumping jacks followed immediately by 10 goblet squats, then rest 60-90 seconds. Repeat for 3-4 rounds). We have listed some awesome combinations below to get you started:
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or Tabata Workout
This type of workout requires you to work at a very high intensity for short periods of time. For example 20 seconds of work, followed by ten seconds of rest, for a total of four minutes. Or, 40 seconds of work, followed by 20 seconds of rest, for four rounds (16 minutes). You can adjust the interval lengths based on the difficulty of the exercises and your fitness level. HIIT or Tabata workouts are incredibly efficient workouts because they require your body to work harder to return to its resting state. They also pack a big punch in a short amount of time, which is perfect if you are short for time.
While there is no denying the benefits of regular cardiovascular exercise, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to make cardio a regular routine. The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines state that adults should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more (Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, 2011). Just remember that if you keep an open mind and get creative, there are plenty of ways to get your heart rate up. You shouldn’t feel confined to the treadmill!
Team Insahyu: Certified Athletic Therapists and Certified Personal Trainers.