If you're pregnant and have an office job or are working from home, like so many people have been forced to do during this time, chances are you're doing a lot of sitting. Too much sitting for anyone isn't good -- it negatively affects muscle stiffness, soreness, and posture and causes headaches, back pain, and more. Too much sitting in pregnancy causes the same kinds of issues, as well as even more aches and pains.
The simplest ways to counteract too much sitting are regular standing and walking (or movement). Sounds almost to easy to be true. The problem is, when we sit for work, we can become so engrossed than an hour or two will pass before we realize just how long we've been sitting. With pregnancy, your bladder will probably be the first to let you know that it's time to move! For more consistent breaks, however, set a timer for as little as every 30 minutes to as long as every hour. Spend at least 10 minutes standing, walking, doing exercises at your desk (squats or lunges work well when you can grab onto your desk for support!), or climbing up and down some nearby stairs.
In addition to regular breaks, continue to also get in regular exercise - aim for 30 minutes a day, most days a week. It doesn't have to be rigorous to count -- neighborhood walks are great!
Changing out your desk chair for something with more movement, like an appropriately sized exercise/yoga ball, will help increase your mobility while sitting. It doesn't replace breaks or exercise, but it does help with movement and many pregnant people find sitting on a ball more comfortable than a chair.
Lastly, consider adding some hip-opener exercises to your daily routine. Sitting can make your hips and glutes particularly tight. Exercises that loosen tight hips include sitting on an exercise ball with legs open wide, tailor or "butterfly" sitting, lunges, and squats. Be aware, however, that pregnancy produces the hormone relaxin, which naturally loosens your joints and makes it possible to over-stretch. Don't push it too far. If you're feeling pain with any of the exercises, discontinue it immediately and then consult with your care provider or a physical therapist. For more healthy daily activities in pregnancy, check out the exercises suggested on Spinning Babies.
TagsNational Women's Health Week Exercise For Pregnancy Sitting during pregnancy Exercises to counteract sitting