By Veronica Colewell, Owner of Vero Pilates
As appealing as working from home (WFH) may initially sound, WFH also comes with unique challenges. Sitting at our desks for long periods can have adverse effects on our posture.
Postural issues from too much sitting include rounding of the upper back and shoulder girdle, the forward jut of the neck, and the flattening of the lumbar curve. The postural issues also affect the internal function of our body like our breathing and digestion. So, what can be done?
Plan for the week ahead. Make sure to block off at least three movement sessions. Regular exercise will help maintain and build muscle tone, lubricate your joints, and increase circulation. When it comes to addressing postural issues specifically, I have found a regular practice of Pilates to be extremely beneficial. Here are three simple exercises that you can do in the middle or end of your day to counter your long WFH hours. All you need is a mat!
Standing Roll Down: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Inhale to prepare. Exhale as you start rolling down towards the floor, softening your knees as you articulate through your spine one vertebra at a time. Pause when you get to where your body will take you, inhale, and use your exhale to roll back up. Repeat three times.
Shoulder Bridge: Lie down face up with your feet planted on the mat and hip-width apart. Inhale. As you exhale, start tucking your hips and imprinting your low back into the mat. Slowly peel your spine off of the mat one vertebra at a time until you are resting on your shoulders. Think of lengthening your spine as you inhale. On your exhale, roll back down through your spine one vertebra at a time until you reach your tailbone. Repeat five times.
Swan Prep: Lie down on your belly with your legs stretched out behind you and your pubic bone anchored to the floor. Place your hands on top of each other and rest your forehead on your hands. Take a breath in as you float your head, neck, and chest off of your hands. Exhale, lowering back down. Each time you float up, think of shining the light from your heart towards the wall in front of you. Repeat eight times.