Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

How can I counteract the strain of sitting all day?

THE QUESTION

I often sit at my computer for 12 hours a day. Can you recommend a couple of exercises I can do to counteract the strain that long days of sitting put on my body?

THE ANSWER

Story continues below advertisement

I'd suggest setting an alarm on your computer that prompts you to break once an hour. During your mini-break, take a short walk around the office, drink water and do the two exercises below.

Lunge and reach: Start in a lunge position with your right foot forward. Bend both knees slightly and tuck your pelvis so that you bring your pubic bone up toward your ribs slightly. Reach your left arm up toward the sky and feel the stretch in the front of the left hip. Repeat on other side.

Upper-back mobility, three ways:

Rotations: Sit tall and place your fingers at your ears. Rotate through your spine so that you look to the right. As you rotate keep your nose in line with your sternum. Repeat on other side.

Lateral reach: Lift your right arm up over your head and lateral bend so that your left shoulder comes toward your left hip. Repeat on other side.

Sky reach: Sitting tall, reach both arms up toward the ceiling, while simultaneously lifting your chest slightly toward the ceiling and looking up toward your hands.

Repeat the entire sequence three times.

Story continues below advertisement



Trainer's tip:

Take a look at how your work station is set up. A common mistake people make is positioning their computer slightly off to one side. This causes one to sit twisted all day and can cause pain in the neck, back and hips.



Send certified personal trainer Kathleen Trotter your questions at trainer@globeandmail.com . She will answer select questions, which could appear in The Globe and Mail and/or on The Globe and Mail web site. Your name will not be published if your question is chosen.

Read more Q&As from Kathleen Trotter

Click here to see Q&As from all of our health experts.

The content provided in The Globe and Mail's Ask a Health Expert centre is for information purposes only and is neither intended to be relied upon nor to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.