Your at Home Guide to Reduce Prolonged Sitting and Maintain Good Health

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Written by: Tia Semplonius M. Sc. PT., Kin, Registered Physiotherapist

Recent changes in our lifestyles have most of us at home for longer periods of time than we are used to. While we are at home, we tend to sit more, whether it is watching TV, watching the kids play, working from home, having a meal etc. Too much sitting can be detrimental to our health. Studies have shown that prolonged sitting has been associated with an increase in type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease and premature death (Vallance et al, 2018).

Our bodies are not built for such a sedentary lifestyle. Our human bodies are meant to move; “motion is lotion.” The ASCM guidelines for physical activity are at least 30 minutes of exercise/physical activity daily, but during times like this it may be hard to sustain that.

Here are a few tips to help reduce the amount of time you are sitting at home and increase your physical activity throughout the day.

  1. Set a reminder on your phone/computer/tablet to get up every half hour to walk around the house
  2. If you are on a conference call, instead of sitting at a desk, walk around the house/room you are in
  3. Go for a walk on your street, while maintaining social distancing
  4. If you need to go out and get essential items, park further away from the building
  5. Perform a few “at home” exercises with items around you

Sit to stands

  • Using a chair/couch/bed, sit with your feet flat on the floor
  • Squeeze your glutes together
  • Transfer your weight; nose over toes
  • Stand up
  • Slowly return to sitting by maintaining control of your momentum
  • Repeat 3 sets of 10 reps
male sitting on a chair
male standing in front of chair

Step ups

  • Place one foot on a step
  • Squeeze your glutes
  • Transfer weight to that foot
  • Step up
  • Repeat on other leg
  • Repeat 3 sets, 10 reps
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male stepping on stairs

Bridging

  • Lay on your floor/bed/couch
  • Bend your knees so you are in a “crook-lying” position
  • Squeeze your glutes together, tighten your stomach muscles
  • Lift your hips off the ground/surface you are on
  • Maintain your breathing
  • Slowly return to resting position
  • Repeat 3 sets, 10 reps
male doing bridge exercise

Side lying hip abduction

  • Lay on your side
  • Have the bottom leg bent for stability and top leg straight
  • Make sure your hips are stacked on top of each other
  • Raise your top leg and slowly return it to its starting position
  • You should feel your “back pocket” muscle working
  • Repeat on the other side
  • Repeat 3 sets of 10 reps
male on physio table doing side laying hip abduction exercise
male on physio table doing side laying hip abduction exercise
Tia Semplonius M. Sc. PT., Kin
Registered Physiotherapist

Tia joined GRSM in December 2019.  She completed her Bachelors of Kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario in 2014. While at Western, Tia was on the Varsity track and field team her first 3 years competing in 60m, 4x200m and 300m races. In her fourth year, she was the Varsity Men’s Rugby team athletic trainer. Tia went on to Queen’s University and completed her Masters of Physiotherapy in 2017. Tia has experience in both hospital and multi-disciplinary clinic environments. She has taken additional courses in Acupuncture and is going to continue her education in manual therapy levels.  Growing up Tia was involved in many sports including soccer, volleyball, cross country and track and field. Tia’s passion for sports has led her into treating sport related injuries. In her spare time she enjoys going to the gym, playing recreational sports and hanging out with family and friends. 

Virtual Appointments at GRSM

As social distancing continues in response to COVID-19, we feel it is important to provide ways to continue care for our existing patients and to provide opportunities to start treatment for new patients.

Although we cannot open our physical doors, continued treatment and new assessments are available through virtual rehabilitation. This form of treatment may be very new to some, but others in our field have been practicing virtual rehabilitation for years in remote areas, in pelvic health and with clients who have trouble travelling to a clinic. Virtual assessment and treatment is completed in the comfort of your own home with flexibility in timing, either face to face on a secure platform or over the phone.

Due to the importance of providing continued care during these unprecedented times, most insurance companies now provide coverage for virtual rehabilitation. We do however encourage everyone to confirm this with their insurance provider.

If you are still not sure if virtual rehab is right for you, email us at virtual@grsm.ca.  One of our registered physiotherapists will connect with you to discuss your personal rehab needs.

References:

Vallance, J.K., et al. (2018) Evaluating the Evidence on Sitting, Smoking and Health: Is Sitting Really the New Smoking? https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/AJPH.2018.304649

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