Break the Addiction!

By Laura Gordon

For the sake of this article, first let me explain two words: flexion and extension. The muscles in the front of our body flex; muscle in the back of our body extend.
Dr. Erik Dalton, the creator of Myoskelatal Alignment Technique and Executive Director of the Freedom From Pain Institute®, says that we are a flexion addicted society. He explains we have moved from an active life style of an agrarian society to a society that spends most of the day in a seated position in front of a computer, in a car or watching tv in a constant state of flexion and poor posture. Our head is shifted forward with neck, shoulders, vertebrae, hips, knees and ankles in a flexed for hours at a time. Add to that the daily stressors of meeting deadlines, paying the bills, family issues and you get a picture of a society in state of chronic pain.
Not a pretty picture. However, we can change that, our bodies are certainly willing! Of course we can’t just quit our jobs, not pay the bills and or ignore matters of the heart regarding our family, but we can do the following and receive benefits that will keep paying us back as we meet the challenges of life as we know it today.
First, getting up from our desk every 30 minutes to an hour just to stretch a little bit will start the ball rolling. Ah, we’re too focused on what we are all bent over doing, we don’t have the time – that deadline is staring us in the eyeball! The truth is if we don’t do it now we’ll lose out on our health and well being in the long run, and I don’t know about you, but I’m here for the long run so here’s some very simple things we can do at our desk for starters:
1. Unfold the legs and put both feet flat on the ground
2. Straighten the vertebra – sit up!
3. Adjust the head so that the ears are directly above the shoulders
4. Extend the head back and move it gently a few degrees to the left and right
5. Push the shoulders back holding for the count of 5 then release, repeat 5 times
6. Stretch your arms out to the side and make circles one way and then the other
7. While the arms are outstretched, roll the wrists around one way and then the other
8. With outstretched arms clasp the fingers behind the back and push the chest forward

Wow, that took less than 2 minutes! Shall we do just a little more? Ok!

1. Stand up, with feet shoulder width, place hands on the hips, extend the head and vertebra back and hold for the count of 5, do that two or three times
2. Next step forward on one foot and bend at the knee, keep the back foot flat on the ground and feel the stretch in the lower leg then with the back foot go up and down on your toes 10 times, repeat on the other leg
3. Last, with hands still on the hips feet shoulder width apart, stretch laterally to the left pushing out the hip and feeling the stretch in opposing inner thighs and upper torso, repeat on the other side

Again, 2 minutes max.

The blood is flowing and the brain is alert. Not a bad little break! If you can’t seem to do that every hour, do it at least a couple of times in the morning and a couple of times in the afternoon and see what happens! Is it possible we could break our flexion addition?

By the way, don’t forget to drink the water sitting there on the desk next to you!

Try them and let me know what you think!

17 thoughts on “Break the Addiction!”

  1. Nice short series of stretches! I’ll use these when working from my chair while I massage clients!

  2. I know I have a terrible habit of sitting on my feet when I’m on the computer! I also know that I have to work on my posture! I will work on doing these excerdizes.

  3. Thanks Laura, It will take time to retrain ourselves to take only this very short time frame to better our bodies, I’m going to get it done and then pass it on to others. It does break up the total sitting and only getting tighter thing we have going on today. Now just getting it to be a habit !!
    Thanks again.

  4. I got up and did the stretches as I read the blog. It is amazing what a little stretching does for the mind and body! Thanks Laura!

  5. I have been sitting here all afternoon and was completely exhausted. I did these little movements and feel much better and somewhat refreshed. Thank you!

  6. I’m so glad I read this after sitting in front of the computer for a little while, it was a much needed break, thank you!

  7. These are good! Stretching in general throughout the day always makes me feel better at night- less pain during the day. These are some good tid bits to try!

  8. This is great timing since I am in certification review week this week. I am using this to help me get through the endless hours of computer work. It is very helpful. Thank you.

  9. I tried these stretches as I read this and I feel better and more energized!! Thanks Laura for the great tips!