Have you been suffering from back pains and aches as a result of sitting in your desk chair all day? If so, then it might be time for you to work on improving your core. When most people think about improving their core, they imagine some kind of strenuous workout, but what if I told you that you can improve your core, posture, and focus as you sit at your desk for work? In the following, we’ll show you just how you can improve your core and your posture by being upright & core tight!
The muscles on the front of your torso, also called your core muscles, directly impact your ability to maintain good posture. Having a strong core also allows your body to function properly long-term. It helps you stand straighter, stabilizes your body, minimizes back pain, and gives you proper balance, preventing injuries and falls. Maintaining a strong core is essential to keeping yourself mobile and healthy.
Upright posture – Good posture lessens wear and tear on the spine and allows you to breathe deeply, making it easier for oxygen to travel through your muscles so they can contract and helps you keep your body aligned.
Eliminates back pain – A body that is aligned and upright will make you less prone to back pain. Your core supports your entire body, especially your neck and back. If your core is not strengthened, then the rest of the structures in your back will have to work harder to support your body, leading to muscle strain and back and neck pain.
Improved balance and stability – When you improve your core, you are teaching the various muscles in your body to work together, leading to better balance and body stability. This makes you less susceptible to injuries, keeps your body aligned, and minimizes strain on any one muscle or joint.
The benefits of sitting upright & core tight are endless, but how exactly do you do that?
In order to improve your core, you need to actively engage it while you sit. The first step to engaging your core is learning how to sit properly.
There is a science to the way we sit. If you’ve ever experienced shoulder or back pain or get a tingling feeling in your legs while you sit, that’s your body telling you that you are putting pressure on the wrong parts of your body.
Try following these steps to sit properly:
For more tips on sitting properly and the benefits of proper office ergonomics, read our article on the topic here.
A common misconception is the thought that engaging your core means to suck in your stomach. In reality, you want to brace and tighten all of the muscles in your core, creating a strong cylinder of muscles from your ribs to your hips (which means you should push out, not suck in).
Keep in mind that when you’re pushing out and engaging your core, that doesn’t mean you should hold your breath. So while you are doing this, remember – keep breathing! Yes, breathing is the most important part of engaging your core. Every time you breathe, you have the opportunity to engage your core.
These exercises are only beneficial if you are sitting upright and keeping your core tight throughout the entire exercise, so stay engaged! And remember…breathe.