How much time do you spending sitting or lounging throughout the day? It adds up – in the morning, at work, commuting, at meals, relaxing after work, using technology, before bed, etc.
In Part 1 we discussed how we’re not often getting enough variety of motion and how advances in technology require us to move less. Now let’s dive a little deeper into our modern, often sedentary, lifestyles.
Many of us tend to spend the majority of our waking hours in “the box”.
Pete Egoscue, the founder of the method I practice, describes it nicely:
“Our world of motion has been squeezed into an invisible three-by-four-foot box that hangs in midair directly in front of us, covering an area roughly from the mid-thighs to the armpits…we do little else outside this box. We take it with us wherever we go.” p. 141 of Pain Free by Pete Egoscue, Ch 9. The Shoulder: Locked in the Box.
Think about it. Eating dinner, typing at the computer, using your smartphone, chopping vegetables, reading, and driving all happen inside the “the box.”
The problem with limiting our range of motions to just the box is that if we don’t use it, we lose it. So our range of motion outside of the box (above, to the side, and behind us or running, crawling, getting on and off the floor, and jumping) can be lost.
I’m sure you’ve heard a middle-aged friend say: I used to run until my knee started hurting, so I switched to biking. Then my low back started hurting so I switched to swimming. Now I swim, although my elbow just started bothering me…
Do you think this person is going to keep swimming for long? Or better yet, ever get back into biking, or running? The answer is no, not unless (s)he changes the body that (s)he brings to these activities.
If you don’t keep your mobility and live outside the box, you’ll end up in the final box… Once we stop moving, that’s it, we die.
Is there a simple way for us to get out of “the box” daily? Can we get back to those activities we love, pain free?
The answer is yes!
- Set up your day so that it requires you to get outside “the box”. Place frequently used items up high requiring you to reach above your head or below your waist forcing you to squat down low. Get creative.
- Work in mini-stretch breaks when you go from a sitting to standing position throughout the day. Channel your inner dog or cat, when they get up from a snooze they do a little downward or upward dog – they know how important stretching is. Get out side the box stretch high, low, side to side, front, and back.
- Do activities you enjoy that get you outside of the box: basketball, volleyball, tennis, obstacle courses, ultimate frisbee, etc. These activities get us moving side to side and up and down. If you aren’t able to do these activities, see step 4!
- Posture Therapy is a great way to get yourself out of pain and back to the activities you love. It is a great way to get out of “the box” as the exercises are designed to get you maintaining or regaining your full range of motion from the comfort of your own home. Interested? Schedule your free postural evaluation in-person or over Skype.