Quarantine: The Perfect Time for a Postural Reset

Lack of full breathing can impact our energy, mood, core stability, and even cardiovascular health. Dr. Mumma teaches you how to breathe on purpose.

Dr. Lindsay Mumma headshot

Quarantine: The Perfect Time for a Postural Reset

We’re highly adaptable creatures as humans, and we adapt to our surroundings quite well. But one of the things that we haven’t seemed to adapt to very well is the constant sitting that most of us are doing.

We sit to

  • Eat
  • Work
  • Relax
  • Drive to work

And most of the time, these aren’t short bursts of sitting.

Now is the time to capitalize on the benefits that come with working from home. You do not need to sit all day, and standing up for a quick posture and breath reset can do wonders for your physical and mental health.

- Dr. Lindsay Mumma

Just a Tidbit on Sitting

It’s been a while since we were truly hunter-gatherers, but our bodies are still ready for movement throughout the day. Those of us who make an intentional attempt to “stay active” typically workout for 30-60 minutes. But the other waking hours of the day? We’re most likely sitting. 

There have been a lot of recent research articles denoting the risks of sitting, but there’s not really a need to get into those (I think we’re all bombarded with plenty of fear right now). I’ll link some below if you’re interested in checking them out. Rather than focusing on the negatives, let’s take a look at some of the positives that are within our control, especially now that we’re spending more time at home. 

 

Full Diaphragmatic Breathing

One of your biggest stabilization muscles is your diaphragm. This smooth muscle that is primarily your biggest breathing muscle also has a role in maintaining an upright posture. But hours of sitting tends to cause us to slouch, which then prevents our diaphragm from fully exerting itself. This lack of full breathing can impact our energy, mood, core stability, and even cardiovascular health. This means that if we take the opportunity to breathe on purpose, we can actually impact all of the aforementioned in a more positive way!

Let’s get started: 

  1. Stand up tall. Often when I give this cue to my patients, they arch their upper back, pull their shoulders back, and jut their chin forward. Instead, I want you to imagine a string at the top of the back of your head, and pull yourself upward, then let your shoulders relax. 
  2. Now place your hands on your sides in the area between your rib cage and your pelvis. Check on your shoulders to make sure that you didn’t just shrug them up.
  3. Take a breath in and try to expand into your hands. This isn’t a forceful breath, but a gentle one. It might feel a bit foreign to you.
  4. Breathe out and let your abdomen completely relax. 

 

That was a full diaphragmatic breath. Repeat that breath 3-10 times (or as many as you like). If you do this every hour, you’ll allow your body to “reset” physically, give yourself more oxygenated blood, and give yourself a little mental break from working as well. 

Now is the time to capitalize on the benefits that come with working from home. You do not need to sit all day, and standing up for a quick posture and breath reset can do wonders for your physical and mental health. This also rings especially true for children. Our kids need movement just as much (or more) than we do, and since they’re not at their desks all day, give them ample opportunity to move and breathe.

This seems simple, but it’s probably worth taking a before/after picture. Let’s see if your (and your kids’) posture improves from taking these mini-breaks throughout quarantine! 

Lindsay Mumma, DC

www.trianglecrc.com 

For more info on the diaphragm and how important it is, check out https://www.rehabps.cz/rehab/literature.php

And for more on the effects of sitting, you can check https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29251259 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32152112

Dr. Mumma received her BA from Kent State University in Kent, OH, and her Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, IA, where she was named the Clinical Excellence Award winner for her graduating class. In addition to the academic requirements of the DC program, Dr. Mumma has also completed over 600 continuing education credit hours in areas such as rehabilitation, developmental kinesiology, pediatrics, pregnancy, nutrition, pain management, sports injuries, TMJ disorder treatment, disc pain, and neurology.

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