5 Tips for Sitting for Long Periods of Time
Sitting for an extended amount of time can be detrimental to your overall health regardless of your lifestyle. Even the most active people may find themselves sitting for long periods of time if they work in an office setting. Whether it’s working in an office, unwinding in the evening, or because of mobility limitations, learning how to avoid the negative health consequences of sitting for prolonged periods is important.
To help, we're giving you five tips for sitting for long periods of time that you can integrate into your daily routine. Be comfortable and stay healthy!
Risks of Sitting for Long Periods of Time
Our bodies are meant to be in motion. Sitting for long periods of time can decondition our body and increase the risk of injury. As the old saying goes, “if you don’t use it, you lose it!”
From a physical perspective, sitting for long periods of time can weaken core muscles along with leg and glute muscles. This issue can also be exacerbated through poor posture and other bad sitting habits. When the core weakens, more pressure is placed on the back, hips, and thighs becoming one of the leading causes of lower back pain. Other common experiences are hip pain, sore knees, glute pain, and thigh pain.
Aside from physical pain, sitting for long periods of time also has the potential to increase the risk of weight gain, diabetes, heart problems, anxiety, and depression.
While leading a more active lifestyle is recommended by health experts, many people may find themselves sitting for long periods of time on a regular basis due to mobility issues, job demands, or other circumstances. Following simple times for sitting for long periods of time may help evade some of the negative health ailments associated with sitting too long and keep you healthy!
Sitting for Long Periods of Time? Try These Tips
Simple tips for sitting for long periods of time can range from choosing chairs you can sit in for a long time without pain to exercises you’ll want to integrate into your daily routine. We can’t always prevent situations where we find ourselves seated for a while, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look after our health, regardless. Try a few of these tips for sitting for long periods of time and see the difference they can make to protect your overall health and wellness:
- Have an ergonomic office setup
- Choose the best chair for long time sitting periods
- Practice good posture
- Do chair exercises to keep loose while sitting
- Stand and stretch periodically
Have an Ergonomic Office Setup
Kicking off our list of tips for sitting for long periods of time is to have an ergonomic office setup. Whether you’re commuting to your job each day or have a home office setup in your house, ergonomics are key to taking care of your body while you sit.
Simple tips for sitting for long periods of time in an ergonomic office setup include following body measures and making small adjustments. Body measures include elbow, thigh, and calf measures. Elbow measures ensure your elbows maintain a 90-degree angle while sitting at your desk with arms parallel to your spine and hands on your workspace. Other measures include thigh and calf measures referencing your body’s position in relation to chair height and depth respectively.
Having an ergonomic work chair is another important tip for sitting for long periods of time in an office. From a chair adjustment perspective, you should be able to slide your fingers under your thigh at the front of your seat. Simultaneously, you should be able to pass your clenched fist between the back of the knee and front of the seat for optimal chair depth.
You may also consider having other office chairs to help with sitting for long periods of time like a luxury zero gravity chair. Working in the zero gravity position as you’re able to could help alleviate back pain, improve blood flow throughout the body, and enhance how the body heals itself without sacrificing productivity! Ergonomic work chairs you can sit in for a long time can truly make a difference in how you feel while working.
Choosing Chairs You Can Sit In For a Long Time
Next up on our list of tips for sitting for long periods of time is having the right chair. Choosing the best chair for long time sitting sessions can mean having a comfortable office chair or choosing from different types of chairs for your living room, bedroom, or other space.
Not all chairs are created equally. For example, in a debate choosing a zero gravity chair or recliner, you’ll find traditional recliners have shortcoming in their design that may inadvertently contribute to back pain, poor circulation, and other heal ailments. Conversely, the potential health benefits of zero gravity chairs make them ideal for additional office chairs, as a living room chair to enhance your relaxing night time routine, or in practically any space in your home. Feeling a little more creative? There are plenty of indoor zero gravity chair uses that think outside the box such as creating a reading nook, setting up a zen space for zero gravity meditation, and even use when building a home theater!
Where you’ll be sitting for long periods of time, that’s where you want to pay the most attention. Having chairs you can sit in for a long time without experiencing back pain or other negative health ailments can make all the difference in the world.
Extra Tip: The bonus features of zero gravity luxury recliners add to their benefit for sitting for a long time. Consider getting a zero gravity chair with massage and heat therapy features for a boost anyone can use!
Practicing Good Posture
If you’ll be sitting for long periods of time, then practicing good posture is absolutely critical to your overall health and well-being. Maintaining the natural curvature of the spine and providing the right support to keep its shape can help provide chronic back pain relief and avoid sciatica symptoms. Poor posture can negatively impact mental health, lean to stiff muscles, and even result in longer-lasting physical development problems such as adult kyphosis.
There are a number of activities to improve posture that you can integrate into your daily routine, but the simplest is to pay close attention to your sitting habits and make the proper adjustments. While it may take effort, at first, soon good posture will become your normal habit and could help safeguard your overall health when sitting for long periods of time.
Chair Exercises to Keep Loose While Sitting
In addition to finding chairs you can sit in for a long time without discomfort, learning some exercises to do while seated may help, as well. There are a wide variety of chair exercises to do at work for staying loose, do while relaxing in a zero gravity chair in the evenings, or pretty much any time you find yourself sitting for a long time! Some of our favorite full body workout exercises you can do that may help while sitting for long periods of time include:
- Core building exercises
- Tricep dips
- Quad lifts
- Back stretch and neck stretches
While doing chair exercises to prevent pain from sitting too long, you can also double dip by using your zero gravity recliner as part of a post workout recovery routine. Expecting a baby and looking for ways to stay active and healthy? You may find that your zero gravity chair facilitates safe ways to exercise during pregnancy, too!
Note: Before beginning any form of exercise, check with your healthcare professional to ensure it’s safe to do so.
Stand and Stretch Periodically
Last, though certainly not least, on our list of tips for sitting for long periods of time is to stand and stretch regularly. Standing at least 10 minutes of every half hour helps keep your core strong and your legs and glutes engaged. This physical activity helps prevent spinal compression and other negative impacts to your health from sitting for long periods of time. Standing is important at every age but becomes increasingly important as you grow older.
A popular method to follow for those working is the 20-8-2 rule. This refers to sitting for 20 minutes, standing for 8 minutes, and moving around for 2 minutes each half hour. The end goal is to stand at least 2 hours of each workday for optimal health benefits such as improving heart health naturally and avoiding pain from sitting too long.
Other effective exercises and stretches to do while sitting for a long period of time is chair yoga. Chair yoga exercises are not only effective for keeping the body loose, but also help increase mobility and flexibility in those with movement limitations, recovering from sports injuries, or who find themselves sitting for long periods of time for any reason.
We hope that these tips for sitting for long periods of time have given you new techniques to practice in your daily routine. From simple chair exercises to choosing zero gravity chairs you can sit in for a long time, finding what works for you could protect or improve your overall health and wellness. Next time you find yourself sitting for long periods of time, try these methods and see the difference they can make!
To learn more about the potential health benefits of zero gravity chairs and how they could enhance your lifestyle, check out these additional resources: