Lately we’ve been hearing “sitting is the new smoking” around the workplace. The average modern day workplace activities – sitting in chairs and staring at the computer for endless hours leads to the slump. Head forward, shoulders slouched, sacrum compressed, body out of alignment. And now, more than ever, people are awakening to the truth that the slump is not conducive to health, creativity, productivity, efficiency and joy. And so “sitting is the new smoking.”
But the truth is that there’s nothing wrong with the chair, the problem is the slump – the shape of the person sitting in the chair. The shape that most people take while sitting will make anyone less conscious, less embodied and even less creative!
And so the modern progressive workplace is beginning to respond to the problem of the slump and gives rise to the standing desk. It’s a step, a natural progression in evolution of human creativity. Standing makes us more awake, it keeps us on our toes, our cells responsive, and leads to better decision making and productivity. But simply standing isn’t the ultimate answer.
The ANYA answer is to sit appropriately, stand sometimes, move your body, breathe into your back and bring awareness to your embodied self from moment to moment in your daily life. No matter what shape you take, if you repeatedly stay in it too long with poor alignment, something else in your body will weaken, and something else will tighten or compress. The answer is caring about your posture, giving it your attention and seeking proportion.
Awareness of body brings life and vitality to the workplace. Creativity and productivity don’t happen in a sterile environment. Creativity emerges through our intuition, balanced movement inspires intuition. People are recognizing that intuition is a powerhouse in the productivity process. We work our best when the body has the freedom to move around, find center and explore the edges, and not feel confined to a cubicle. In response to the slump, sitting is now “the new smoking” and the standing desk is the first part of a revolution in the workplace igniting movement and awareness of the body as a vehicle for intuition. Standing isn’t the point, it’s deeper, it’s a cultural shift.
There is a key point of difference between “sitting” and “smoking,” smoking was the issue, sitting is not the issue, it’s HOW we sit. What matters is how we choose to be in our bodies in any given shape, in any place or time.
Here is how to find your right alignment while sitting in a chair:
- Find sit bones (It helps to sit to the front of the chair)
- Equalize the weight on both sit bones front to back and side to side (when seated your sit bones are the foundation of your spine)
- Lift up through the tops of ears (this is more of a visualization than a physical action) and actively release tension in your jaw.
- Place hands on the side body- space between hips and ribs.
- Inhale; invite space at the side body. Exhale; equalize your sit bones to balance your energy. 3-5 breath cycles
- Choose to avoid the slump! Reclaim center by practicing #s 1-5 throughout your day!!