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Do You Sit Most of the Day? Here’s How to Get Moving.

As you read this, chances are you are hunched over a computer or a smart phone screen. You’re probably sitting, too, and have been for much of the day. But, if your body had a choice, it wouldn’t be sitting still: It would be moving.

“Sitting is really a challenge for our bodies,” says Dana Dreifus, Whole Body Studios’ owner. “In our culture we use resting and sitting as a working position, but our bodies are built to move. Even when we are sleeping, we are moving. When we ask our bodies to sit still for eight hours, that is an unrealistic expectation.”

So what are office workers supposed to do? Here, some of Dana’s tips on keeping movement a part of your workday.

1. POP UP: Try to leave your chair and desk at least once an hour. “Get up, go to the bathroom, get a glass of water, or talk to a coworker,” Dreifus says. “Just make sure that your spatial relationship to gravity changes.”

2. SHIFT: Switch up the ways that you sit. Sit on a ball for an hour and then switch back to a chair. Hinge forward for an hour, then hinge back for the next. “There really is no ‘perfect’ way to stand or sit because you don’t want to hold one position for too long,” Dreifus says. “Posture is about keeping your body fluid and strong, not rigid.”

3. FOCUS: Let your core support your movements. “Engage your core for a few breaths and then release it,” Dreifus says. “Repeat that simple pattern throughout the day and you’ll subtly build strength and become more aware of how your engaged core helps support your spine.”

4. REDECORATE: Some people buy a treadmill desk so that they can walk and work at the same time. Others opt for specialty desk chairs and accessories. But there are immediate (and inexpensive) changes you can do right now. “Make sure your desk is set so that your eye look straight forward at a screen,” Dreifus says. “Avoid placing your laptop on your lap because it will force your arms to internally rotate and push your shoulder blades too far forward.”

5. STUDY: In class and private sessions, Dreifus shows clients at-your-desk exercises to engage the core and make sure that the spine isn’t isometrically pulling on the shoulder blades. (A quick tip: Stand up and place one leg behind you just a few inches to subtly stretch your hip flexor.)