If you sit for long periods of time throughout the day, then chances are you’ve experienced or are experiencing lower back discomfort or pain. I know if I sit for longer that a couple of hours at a time, my lower back tightens up and I need to take care when standing up from a chair, or especially with getting out of a car so that I don’t torque my back from the combination of turning and rising.
One of my strategies has been to alternate between sitting and standing more often and even as I type this, I’ve got my computer propped on a pedestal on my desk and I’m standing. It’s also good for circulation, helps burn more calories, and I often add in some isometric exercises as I type to give my muscles a workout.
If you don’t have the option to stand while you work, Judi Bar, a certified yoga therapist at the Cleveland Clinic demonstrates three simple stretches in this two minute video that you can do right at your desk to give your lower back and hips a good stretch. There’s no need to change your clothes, take off your shoes (unless you want to), or even get up from your chair, although after the stretching, you may be motivated to stand up and stretch your upper body too!
If you’re not used to stretching, begin by moving slowly in and out of shallow movements and use the rhythm of your breath as a guide. Over time, allow yourself to go into deeper stretches and hold them for more breaths. Not only will you be giving some love to your back and hips, you’ll be taking a moment to slow down and get present, and that will help to reduce stress and at the same time energize you!!