The Office and Your Hips
One of the most common effects of a sedentary lifestyle, often associated with office work, is tight hip flexors. When we sit all day, our hip flexors are positioned to be shortened while our glutes become stretched and inactive, causing both to become weak and inhibited. Tight hip flexors cause the pelvis to tilt forward.
Having weak glutes prevents the body from counterbalancing a forward tilt, causing the low back to arch and ultimately impacting proper alignment or posture. Additionally, this position can lead to compression of the lower discs, leading to painful injuries. Stretching, especially after long periods of sitting can help to heal and prevent tight hips, encouraging healthy alignment and flexibility. Here are a few great stretches to get started!
Butterfly - Sitting with your spine straight, move legs and feet so that the soles of your feet are touching. Keeping spine as straight as possible, slowly lean over your legs at a comfortable angle until you feel a stretch in your glutes and hips. You may choose to fold over for a few breaths to get a deeper stretch.
Cross Over - Laying on your back, keeping one leg bent, cross your opposite one foot over your bent leg so that it looks like the number four. lacing your hands between your legs, grab hold of your thigh (bent leg) and pull both legs slowly toward you. Repeat on the opposite side.
Wide Squat - Taking a wide stance, and keeping your spine straight, slowly squat down until your bottom is hovering over the floor. Hold this position for a few breaths and return to standing. Repeat a few times more for an extra stretch.
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