Worker Mobility - 25th November 2016
We do a fair bit of technical analysis with runners. In fact it's one of the coaching services we offer.
When you spend a lot of time analysing people running you notice that lots of runners suffer the same technical problems, some of them stemming from weaknesses and inflexibility. It's not surprising really since most of us have similar lifestyles.
One very common problem we see is the hips sitting a little low when running. This can be caused by a few things, but probably the most-common is tight hip flexors. And tight hip flexors can come about as a result of spending too long sitting down. In fact, sitting down for long periods doesn't really do us any favours at all. Unfortunately the majority of jobs require doing just that.
Assuming that you don't want to quit your job to improve your running technique (although I bet you're tempted), what can you to mitigate the problem caused by spending long periods hunched over a keyboard?
Luckily there are a few things.
Reclaim your Lunch Break
It might be easier said than done. There is definitely an expectation in some places to scoff a sandwich while chained to your desk, but it's not healthy and it really is worth trying to get away for a proper break.
Luckily, employers are starting to realise that healthy employees are happier, more-productive and take fewer sick days. Corporate run clubs such as those offered by LGN Wellbeing are becoming more and more popular. It might be worth suggesting it to the bosses.
But even without the option of an official work run club, you can still get out and have a jog round the block. If this isn't an option (lack of showers at work) then a brisk walk can do wonders. Especially during winter months when it might be the only daylight you get to experience during the week!
Ever been for a run and then sat down for hours afterwards? You'll feel pretty stiff when you get back up again. As runners, we get out and do the training and rightly deserve to (and need to) rest between sessions, but resting doesn't mean being completely immobile, and staying fixed in the same position all day at work is terrible.
Get up and move around regularly. An app such as workrave allows you to set alarms to remind you to take rest breaks. Try and aim for at least a five-minute break every hour.
Check your Workstation
It's really important to ensure that your chair, desk and monitor are all at the right heights and in the correct positions. You have a right to work in a comfortable environment so don't be shy about asking your employer to supply quality equipment.
This calculator suggests measurements for you based on your height.
This article is all about adjusting office chairs.
And here's a good guide to getting everything into the correct position.
If you can do this at work then all the better. But if not, then loosening up after runs or when you get back home is a good idea. We've got an article on stretching that you might find useful.
As mentioned above, the hip flexors tend to suffer most from long periods spent sitting down. This video provides a good description of what is probably the most-useful hip flexor stretch.