Some of the biggest issues I see in corporate fitness clients with sedentary office jobs are a weak lower back and poor shoulder posture. When we sit in a chair, staring at a computer screen for eight hours of the day, our core tends to get a little soggy. Posture and core strength can easily be improved by simply switching out your swiveling office chair for a stability ball, sometimes called a Swiss ball or physio ball.
Sitting on an unstable ball immediately engages your core and forces you to sit tall and upright. Not only does it instantly improve posture, it also serves as a great tool to have in your office to use for short bouts of exercise. Try replacing your office chair with a stability ball for at least an hour per day. Then, at the end of that hour, try these posture enhancing exercises:
- Plank: Place your elbows just below the top of the ball. Extend your legs behind you, balancing on your toes and elbows. Keep your body in a straight line from your shoulders to your hips and knees. Hold for 20 seconds.
- Shoulder I-Y-Ts: Place your stomach on the ball so that your body is at a 45-degree angle with your hands touching the floor in front of you. With your thumbs up and moving only at your shoulders, lift your arms so that your upper arms come right by your ears, forming the letter I with each arm. After 10 repetitions, move your arms out to a 45-degree angle, forming the letter Y. Again, moving only at the shoulders, lift your arms into a Y position. Lower your arms and repeat 10 times. Next, move your arms straight out to 180 degrees, a T position. Lift your arms and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Lower and repeat 10 times.