If you do the fifty minutes on, ten minutes off, what you’re doing is preventing that stagnation to accumulate in the body. If you don’t do anything for six hours and then you get up, you’ll be sore, but if you break it up every hour, it can be very invigorating.
How effective are standing desks–or alternative work set-ups?
A standing desk is beneficial, as it allows for better posture and more movement and helps to prevent any stagnation. It can be hard to stand for six to eight hours straight a day, so I often recommend that my patients create a set-up that allows them to change between standing and sitting, which ensures for even more motion during the day.
“For every inch you lean your head forward, the pressure added to the cervical spine is about ten pounds.”
A very good option for a chair is the Swopper, which has a similar principle of the big yoga balls that you can sit on. The difference between this and a regular chair is that it doesn’t have a lean for the back–and you sit only with your two sitz bones leaving your pelvic diaphragm free to breathe. In turn, this will help to create inner core strength, as well.
I also like the little, three-to-four feet trampolines or rebounders. Get on one for a few minutes during the day, shake it up, and then get back to your work. You will have a ton more energy.
What is the best way to sit or stand while working?
Your eyes should be looking straight across in line with your screen and not below the horizontal. You want to make sure you’re sitting upright, with your head straight on your spine, your hands typing from a comfortable, approximate 90-degree angle, and your shoulders relaxed. The key is to feel ease–in your arms, your shoulders, and your entire body–so you’re not accumulating any compression and tension. Everybody needs to find this for themselves.
Outside of our working lives, what else is essential for thwarting stagnation and compression in the body?
I like forms of activity that involve the whole body, such as swimming, yoga, Pilates, and Egoscue, an exercise method that helps to balance all the muscles in the body and decrease tension. Gyrotonics, which I can best describe as three-dimensional Pilates, also works to increase mobility, flexibility, spiraling, arching, all of which is vital for the spine.
Most importantly, we need to be mindful of our bodies and our lives in general. When we’re typing in front of the computer, we often lose contact with our body. At our jobs or in life, we’re always looking outside instead of inside ourselves. If you feel an increase in tension, listen to it and get up, move a little, rotate your shoulders, get a drink of water, loosen it up. We need to be sincere with our heart, our soul, and our spirit, and in order to do so, we have to look inside ourselves. That is when we start to hear that voice of integrity that says, “this hurts or this doesn’t feel right,” which is a very important message. Our heart and our higher consciousness tell us what’s going on–we need to become accustomed to listening to that inner voice. This is how we learn to trust ourselves and follow through with what is right for us.
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Tudor Marinescu, M.D. Ph.D. is a holistic family physician with extensive credentials in cranial and biodynamic osteopathy, functional medicine, prolotherapy, vibrational sound healing, and herbal treatments. Born in Romania, he began his medical studies in Bucharest, which he later completed at the J.W. Goethe University School of Medicine in Frankfurt, Germany. He holds a Ph.D. in Medicine from the H. Heine University in Germany, completed a one-year surgical internship at UCLA, and a three-year Family Medicine residency at USC. He holds a certificate of Proficiency in Osteopathy from the Osteopathic Cranial Academy. He practices in Ojai and Santa Monica, California.
The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of goop, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.