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5 Exercises For People Who Sit All Day

05/13/2015 04:43 EDT | Updated 05/13/2015 04:59 EDT

Even if you're the biggest gym rat in the world, sitting at your desk all day will still take its toll on your muscles.

"Think about it — even if you train hard, that only takes up approximately one hour of your day," says physiotherapist Cassie Dionne, at Kingston, Ont. gym Taylored Training. "If most of the remainder of your day is spent sitting, then you are maintaining what is likely a terrible sitting posture for the majority of your time."

Sedentary time — that is, everything from sitting at work to driving home to watching TV on the couch — has been linked with a number of diseases, like diabetes and cancer. But even smaller, day-to-day effects make a difference, like hunched shoulders, headaches from straining your neck, and lower back pain.

"Almost everyone that comes to see me has at least one muscle group that isn’t functioning properly. Reasons for this can vary, but a huge contributing factor is absolutely sitting and lifestyle factors," Dionne says. "When you are sitting all day you are constantly in a flexed position. Your shoulders round and upper back gets stiff, and your glutes have no reason to work. You get used to these postures and your brain starts to recognize them as being normal."

So because standing all day isn't viable for many people, Dionne has put together a list of five exercises — some of which you can easily do right at the office — to counteract the effects of sitting on your muscles. Take a look at the five exercises below:

  • At the Gym: Loaded Carries
  • At the Office: Wall Slides/Laying Shoulder Mobility
  • At the Office: Slider Reverse Lunges
  • At Home: Glute Bridge with March
  • At Home: 4-Point Kneeling Thoracic Rotation

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