How many hours do you spend in your car? Really think about it… Commuting to work, grocery shopping, dropping off and picking kids up at school or practice. What do we do in cars? We sit.
Sitting for extended periods of time is detrimental to our spinal health. A seated position puts greater strain on our lower back and for those of us who have sedentary jobs the percentage of the day we spend seated is compounded.Granted we can’t be expected to change our careers or time spent in cars to protect our backs, but here is what we can do:
1) Knees below hips! The position created by office chairs and car seats often leaves our hips placed below our knees. Try changing this up: adjust your car seat to lift up your hips or sit closer to the end of your desk chair and let your knees fall lower than your hips. You should feel an immediate shift in your pelvis and a relief of pressure in your lower back.
2) Take breaks! If you’re doing a lot of driving, try to take breaks every 20-30 minutes to stretch your legs, bounce, walk, get that spinal fluid moving! The same goes for sitting at your desk, get up and walk around every 20 minutes. Set a reminder alarm on your phone or, even better, drink lots of water, your body will naturally remind you to get up for bathroom breaks and you’ll be well hydrated!
3) Men, take out that wallet! Before sitting for an extended period of time make sure you’re removing any objects you have in your back pockets. Sitting with wallet, or anything, in your pocket creates an imbalance in the distribution of your weight which puts strain on your pelvis and lower back.