Our “civilized” world dramatically removes us from our natural environment. This greatly affects our health and longevity in a number of ways. A significant example of this is probably where you are right now – in a C.H.A.I.R. It does not matter if it is a desk chair, a lounge chair, a couch, or a car, train, bus seat. Google images for chairs and you can see how much of a mine field exists out there …
In general, too much sitting reduces mobility – and just as in nature, our mobility is directly tied to our longevity. But the reality is our lives, homes, travel, jobs utilize chairs for most of our day. So how do we manage this public enemy?
Consider … Do you sit “on” the chair or do you sit “in” the chair?
ON the chair suggests some level of postural alignment to efficiently manage gravity acting down on you. If you sit on the front of the chair with your shoulders over your hips/sitz bones you can efficiently use your skeleton. A good focus for this is to allow the back of your neck to be long as if there is a small balloon pulling on the back crown of your head. See a related blog post here: Going Running or Being Run?.
IN the chair suggests less postural alignment with collapsed spine, slumped posture and muscular effort in the back, hips and pelvis.
A great tool is an exercise ball to body sense an aligned seated posture and to develop core strength. Core strength is a big key to efficient posture.
Also Consider … How Often? Moving toward a Balance or an Imbalance?
- Sit a lot for work or commute? Be more active otherwise; and take mobility breaks as often as possible.
- Drive? Park a little farther away and walk a few extra steps.
- TV on? Get down on the floor and move around, twist, stretch or do some light exercises.
Overall our health is greatly affected by our mobility which is greatly affected by our posture. Posture is a balance between alignment and relaxation. When your body is aligned shoulders over hips against gravity, then the strongest material in your body – your structure/skeleton – is maintaining your position with support from your muscles. If your body is not aligned, your muscles work harder to deal with the big force of gravity.
Alignment, Relaxation and Balance – a few key concepts to consider all day long. Either way, your day is going to affect your walk/run … and vice versa. You have a huge opportunity to practice your running/walking all day long …
What posture tricks to you use to help you stay focused, aligned, relaxed and balanced as much as possible?
Thoughts on this post? Leave your comment or question below and join the discussion …
David Stretanski is a holistic health, fitness and wellness coach and Certified ChiRunning®/ChiWalking® Instructor. For more information on David, please see his About Me, Contact page or his website at http://www.eChiFitness.com.
ChiRunning® and ChiWalking® are registered trademarks of ChiLiving, Inc.