Sitting down – ’tis the season…

So December came and went with festivities and floods. Now the January gloom has yet to give way to Spring, hibernation is having a boom time and we’re probably all spending far too much time sitting down.

I haven’t made it past your glutes yet on these monthly journeys down the body but after last months ‘Five Golden Rings‘ – five things that EVERYONE should know – I thought I’d do something similar for sitting; ’tis soggy and cold out there and most definitely the season for excessive couch potato-ing.

Sitting is something that most of us have to do a lot of. Research to date suggests that:

many adults spend at least 7 hours a day sitting or lying down

(this doesn’t include sleeping time) and that:

this tends to increase with age to 10 hours or more.

Those are seriously large chunks of your day to spend sedentary but are probably the norm for those of us who have a full-time desk job and/or have a sitting commute and/or are sedentary in the evenings and at weekends. The biggest bit of research to date that looked at 800,000 people suggests that:

“compared with people who sat the least, those who sat the longest had a double or greater risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular problems and of dying from these cardiovascular problems AND a 50% increased risk of death – full-stop – from ANY cause.”

Eeeewww!!! That’s not good! So sitting is bad for your health; nothing new there from my perspective, though a few handy studies by boffins lend weight to the argument when I’m telling people to:


So if our life choices dictate that we are going to potentially spend long periods of time sat down:

what can we do about it?

– – – – –

Head, shoulders, back and hips, back and hips,

Head, shoulders, back and hips, back and hi-ips and,

Bum and abs and sticky ankles too,

Head, shoulders, back and hips, think of YOU!

– – – – –

Having clearly not missed my calling with poetry above and doodles below, here are a few quick and easy tricks that you can apply whilst sitting to help keep things a little freer, looser, easier and more comfortable…

Pic 1

Pic 1

HEAD: Pic 1 – more specifically, neck. Draw chin in high and close to your chest, pop one hand on back of head and pull gently forwards to stretch the back of your neck.

SHOULDERS: No pic here – it’s simple! Adopt the ‘hands up!’ position then gently squeeze your shoulder blades back & together to stretch shoulders and chest.


Pic 2

Pic 2

BACK: Pic 2 – a gentle sideways bend…

& Pic 3 – pelvic tilts; tilt your pelvis forwards as far as comfortable to arch in your lower back – good if you’re a slumper – then reverse by engaging stomach muscles (drawing bellybutton in and up) to tilt pelvis backwards to curve your lower back.

Pic 3

Pic 3

sitting - hip stretch

Pic 4

HIPS: Pic 4 – OK, so you need to shuffle to the side of your chair for this one! Sit tall, draw bellybutton in and up (helps stabilise spine in a neutral position) then slide your foot backwards along the floor to stretch the front of your hip.

And BUMS and ABS and sticky ANKLES too…. Clench bum muscles x 10; draw bellybutton in & up and hold for 10; pic 4 stretches ankles too – spend a few minutes daily on these and you’re all done!

And think:

  • Can you do some of your work in standing?
  • Standing desks are growing in popularity – can you get hold of one or, with a little thoughts and some boxes, create your own?
  • Is there a windowsill or shelf that you can pop your laptop on a few times a day to work in standing?

If this sounds like just a little too much effort then just…


And get it sorted NOW; a little effort may well pay dividends in the long run.

Drop me a line if you’ve any queries or comments, hopefully you’ll find the above tips useful and even more hopefully you’ll apply them! Feel free to leave feedback by clicking on the link below and my contact details can be found top right if you need more help that this article alone offers. Stay fit and well!

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Jan 15, 2016 by Patricia Duffin

Hi Julie Every time I receive one of these I think how great they are! They always tell me something relevant and provide quick excercises that are easy to remember. They also give me a nudge to get me going again as I'm afraid that the enthusiasm gradually fades over the month!

Sports Massage Therapy, Remedial massage, Physiotherapy // Calder Massage, Hebden Bridge , USA 5.0 5.0 1 1 Hi Julie Every time I receive one of these I think how great they are! They always tell me something relevant and provide quick excercises that are easy to remember. They also give

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