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How to Engage your Core While Sitting
Engaging your core isn’t just about getting rock-hard abs. It’s about creating a solid base from which most of the movement in your body comes from. Having a strong core aids your overall health and can help prevent future injury and pain.
You can engage your core through multiple methods, but did you know you can even work your core while sitting down?
Why Is Your Core Important?
Made up of a complicated collection of the muscles in your abdomen, pelvis, and back, your core extends across your entire torso and is responsible for most of your movement. It’s what keeps your body stable, as well as mobile.
A strong core is vital for an overall healthy life, as keeping your core strong stabilizes your spine, helps with all aspects of movement, and can help prevent injuries.
Why Sitting For Too Long Can Be Harmful To Overall Health
It’s clear that sitting for too long certainly doesn’t feel good, but do you know what it can actually do to your body?
What Does Sitting Do to Your Body?
Sitting in itself is not harmful. It’s the way you sit, what you sit on, and for how long.
Staying static, or still, for too long in any respect isn’t healthy for you. One of the main reasons is because it slows your blood circulation, especially towards your lower extremities. If this is a continued habit, then your risk of health issues later in life is much higher than it would have been before.
Additionally, sitting for too long can lead to nerve issues and general pain or numbness. Many office workers know the back pain and neck pain that comes from sitting at their desk, but do you know what not listening to that pain and your body can do in the long term?
When back pain starts to become chronic, the discs in our lumbar vertebrae can begin to bulge. If this happens, or if it herniates or otherwise is injured, the muscles surrounding it will tighten around it for protection from further damage. This is good in theory, as the body is protecting itself, but it restricts movement and can cause pain.
Sitting too much can also lead to compressed nerves and a whole host of other health issues that put you on the road towards chronic pain.
Posture is one of the most important things to keep in mind when sitting. When you have lower back pain, it radiates upward through your upper back, shoulders, and neck. When you have neck pain, the same thing can happen in the opposite direction. Everything is connected, and therefore everything needs to be taken care of.
How Can You Fix Pain From Sitting Too Much?
There are a few ways to treat the type of pain that comes from sitting too frequently.
The first is to correct your posture, as reflected above. In order to do that, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
Posture Corrections to Try:
- Make sure your hips are situated above your knees with your pelvis in either a neutral or slightly tilted forward position. This can be helped with cushions or specialty chairs.
- Your feet should be firmly planted on the ground and should be a part of a 90-degree angle with your knees and hips. They shouldn’t be pushed forward because your chair is too short for your height, nor should they be dangling from your chair.
- Your back and neck should be straight, with your chair encouraging the position, or at least not actively acting against it. Try not to lean forward, as most people who work at desks do unconsciously.
- Your arms should be angled at 90 degrees if you’re working at a desk. If your elbows dip too low, the nerves in your arm will start to cause you pain. If they’re too high, then you’ll be likely to lean forward more than you should and cause neck strain.
If all these rules for posture seem daunting, keep in mind that you can find chairs that are built to handle and prevent the damage caused by sitting.
One of the main ways you can prevent pain from sitting is by making sure you live a relatively active lifestyle. Walking, lifting, dancing -- all these things keep your muscles actively engaged and ensure that they’re helping support your body in the way you want them to be.
Another thing you can do to help alleviate and prevent back pain is to be sure that you get up every so often to stretch and give your body a break from sitting. Making sure your muscles don’t go underused is important, so they don’t weaken and cause imbalances.
Heating pads and compression wraps can be beneficial for easing current pain, but if the pain is severe, it may be a good idea to visit a health care official to see if you would benefit from physical therapy.
How To Engage Your Core While Sitting
You can engage your core anywhere and in any situation. The easiest way is to simply tense your abdominal muscles. Contracting your core muscles, which wrap from your lower back to the front of your stomach, can help strengthen your lower back and ward off the typical back pain people gain from working at a desk all day.
When you think about tensing your abdominal muscles, think about how hypothetically, if you were to be punched, your muscles would tense up right before receiving the blow so as to lessen the effects of the blow and protect your body. If you tense like this for ten seconds at a time while seated and do a few rounds of it, you’ll be actively engaging your core.
If you’re looking for something a bit more advanced, here’s an additional way to engage your core while seated.
At all33, our BackStrong chair has built-in technology that keeps the cushion of your chair moving with your body, while still supporting your hips and back and forcing proper posture.
Thanks to our Sit In Motion® technology and the saddle-like seat of the BackStrong, your pelvis is kept constantly in motion. You lean back, the chair moves with you. The same goes if you move forward. This constant state of motion works your core and keeps you active, and you barely even have to think about it. Although these small motions might not be noticeable to you while sitting, it keeps your core engaged at all times, and you get to gain all the benefits of an actively engaged core without changing your routine at all!
On top of that, once you purchase your all33 chair, you’ll have access to chiropractor-recommended exercises so that you can support the health of your back and your core even further. When it comes to choosing an office chair that will help you engage your core and allow you to invest in your health, all33 is the only way to go.
Change the Game by Engaging Your Core
Engaging your core while sitting can be helpful in reducing the pain felt while sitting statically for long periods of time. When you strengthen your core, you strengthen your whole body as a result.
Your core is like your body’s base. When it’s stable, your overall health and wellbeing benefits as a result. When it’s unstable, pain is a likely consequence. Luckily, you can both keep sitting at your desk while also engaging your core and preventing the aforementioned pain. You just need to keep a few exercises in mind and remember to always tighten your core muscles while doing them.