Active Sitting 101 - The class you NEED to take
Active sitting, ever heard of it? Well, if you said no, you're not alone. When I first started interning with Onthemuv®, I had never heard of the phrase active sitting. Well... I knew seated walking was active, but for some reason, my mind never made the connection. It did strike my interest, so naturally I thought, "why not explore this further in a blog." Since we're both here, let's go on this learning experience together.
What is Active Sitting?
For those of you who work 8 hours from a desk everyday, it comes as no surprise that ultimately it does take a toll on your body. From your posture, a weakened core, to neck issues, sitting at a desk for 8 hours is not how our bodies were meant to survive. We were meant to MUV!
Active sitting is meant to act as a middle ground by getting some muscle engagement in while being seated. The goal is to engage at least one muscle group while you are sitting. This could be your abdominals, back, or leg muscles. This can look a few different ways, maybe you have an adjustable height chair or maybe a chair without a back. Subtle changes can make a huge difference in the long run.
Benefits of Active Sitting
- Increases core muscle strength: When you remain seated for an extended amount of time, it only engages a small part of your core — especially if you lean on the back of the chair. Active sitting promotes engagement across a larger section, making your core stronger overall.
- Improve Posture: Being reliant on a back rest in a normal chair means you don't have to adjust your posture throughout the day. Thus, your body becomes accustomed to that position, leaving you with poor posture and a stiff back when you stand. With active sitting, you are constantly having to readjust to maintain balance and to keep proper posture. This can relieve unnecessary strain on the back muscles.
- Encourages a healthier spine: The spine is at it's healthiest when it is in motion. When your spine is sedentary for long periods of time, it becomes compressed and stiff which can lead to serious issues. The readjusting you do while sitting on a medicine ball or a backless chair, helps you stay in motion keeping your spine happy and healthy.
- Improves blood circulation: We all know movement is one way to stimulate blood circulation. When you are constantly repositioning or engaging a muscle group through active sitting, the heart starts pumping to deliver oxygen to those muscles. This added blood circulation can help with brain fog, focus and mood.
3 Ways to Actively Sit
- Seated stretches — A cost efficient way to start active sitting right now would be stretching while seated. It's a great way to MUV around and ditch the stiff — plus, you get the blood circulating!
- Upgrade your chair — Try using a chair without a back or invest in a ball chair which promotes the stabilization of your core while seated. The downside to most chairs is they only engage 1-2 muscles groups.
- miniTREAD® — The miniTREAD is well... a mini treadmill used while seated. All the benefits of a standing treadmill, but compact and portable. It engages 5 muscles groups at the same time without distraction.
In this blog, you now should have a grasp on what active sitting is, a few of its benefits — improved posture and circulation — and a few ways to actively sit, including one you can do right now. If you already have a miniTREAD then your ahead of 80% of the workforce that just sits.
What are some fun ideas or ways that could work for you to actively sit? Get creative and remember that at least one muscle group (back, legs, abdominals) needs to be engaged. We'd love to hear your ideas in the comments below!
Happy New Year & Keep On MUVin'!