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December 2015 Don’t sit too comfortably for too long!

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Attingham deer croppedWe as human beings are hard-wired to move. That doesn’t mean shuffling occasionally in your chair or moving your weight from one foot to the other while you are standing. Even if you walk regularly, enjoy sport or an active lifestyle, this month’s blog will explain why it’s not enough if you spend sustained periods of time; more than half an hour, in one position repeatedly during your day.

These beautiful deer are hard-wired in the same way. They don’t stand still for any length of time, they keep moving  and straighten up to their full height repeatedly as you watch them. They can teach us a lot.

Whatever your age and your lifestyle, staying put in one position acts against your hard wiring. In doing so your body begins to short-circuit, ie it still works but it adapts along an unintended path.

The unintended path:

Path 1: muscle tone starts to drop and muscles start to tighten

Path 2: our circulation slows and begins to pool in our feet and legs

Path 3: without movement joints reduce the production of fluids that “oil” them.

So, in the time it takes to watch a 90 minute Christmas tear jerker the effects of the unintended path can be felt. As we move to get up, dabbing our eyes, the ill effects of the immobility can outweigh the feel good factor of the film. “Oooh my knees… my poor old back…my stiff hips…” Sound familiar?

If you sit at a desk all day, stand at a workbench, read or sew or knit or drive or bend over to garden for any length of time then the short circuiting begins to set in.

Re-routing to the intended path:

If you are depriving your body of fresh circulating blood, limiting the production of your joint’s lubricating fluid and allowing your muscle tone to drop and the muscles to stiffen, you shouldn’t be surprised when, on attempting to spring into action, you find yourself morphed into some old codger’s body.

By expecting your body to leap into action having forced it down the ‘unintended path’, your body is far more likely to be stressed and strained causing it to complain with a list of woes. This tale of misadventure is even more greatly felt when we are in confined spaces.

In a plane for example, the risks of a clot (DVT) or your legs swelling because of poor fluid circulation, combined with air pressure changes, are significantly increased. In extended car journeys our whole body stiffens because there is little incentive or opportunity to move unless we make a specific point of doing so.

The specific point: keep moving!!

 Numero uno: stretch your spine

exercises during long haul flights

Sit towards the front of your seat.

Squeeze your buttocks and sit as tall as you can.

Cross arms over your chest and tilt body left and right.






exercises for long haul flights and car journeys

Sit towards the front of your seat.

Squeeze your buttocks and sit as tall as you can.

Cross arms over your chest and turn body left and right from your waist.






Numero due: stretching your ankles and toes

i) Keep your feet flat to the floor and lift your heels.

ii) Place your heels down and spread  and wiggle your toes.

iii) Cross one leg over the other and circle your ankle while stretching and curling your toes.

Numero tre: just keep moving…

Stand up, sit down, stand up, walk around, stand up with arms stretched above your head, walk around, sit down, stand up and so on and so on…

Numero uno, due e tre, should be repeated several times at a time, for every half hour you are standing or sitting still.

If you keep everything oiled, moving and toned just a little, throughout the day the benefits are HUGE. MASSIVE. WHOPPING. Really quite big.

And as this year comes to an end I would like to wish you all good cheer and glad tidings. And remember, get a jiggle on, ’tis Christmas time after all…




| 8 comments | in body, buttocks, healthy posture, sitting, stretching, tightness

8 Responses to December 2015 Don’t sit too comfortably for too long!

  1. Debi Sykes says:

    Hi Rachel, This is really interesting, thanks! I know I am very guilty of sitting at my computer in one position for far too long!

    • Rachel Kili says:

      Hello Debi
      Thank you for your thoughts and honesty! You are by no means alone in what you say. I hope that my blog serves as a useful prompt. Have you thought about setting a ‘pop up’or alarm on your screen to remind you to correct your posture through your day?

  2. elizabeth hector says:

    Hi Rachel

    although I am still here and there ( Grandsons 3 yrs and 16 months) and on holiday, like to read monthly update to get your exercises into action.

    A very Happy Christmas to you and the family, lost track of how old the girls are.

    • Rachel Kili says:

      Elizabeth, well done in keeping a monthly exercise programme. I’m flattered that my blog keeps you on the move!

      Wishing you and your family a very happy Christmas.


  3. Sven says:

    It’s as if you wrote this just for me!!!
    Great advice to live and move by. Time to move….
    Thank you

    • Rachel Kili says:

      Hello Sven
      Great to know I was correct in writing this month’s blog with you in mind! Keep on moving – don’t give up!


  4. Pamela Blaxland says:

    Thank you for these suggestions for movement when sitting Rachel. Your comment about not staying in one position for more than half an hour is a great incentive!!

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