Active or dynamic sitting helps avoid tight muscles by keeping our body dynamic. Instead of passively relaxing into a backrest, or rigidly holding a static “correct” pose, Active Sitting is about staying in motion all day long.
When our pelvis is upright we are well balanced and free to move our body as we work. Often we find ourselves moving and dancing in a chair slightly as we work and listen to music. Once we lean back into the backrest or lean forward onto our elbows. Such small motions may not look like “exercise,” but they do have a significant impact on our health. Primarily these motions keep our muscles dynamically active – engaging and relaxing, and lengthening and shortening – a process which keeps them from binding up and turning off.
We can take this approach one step further by intentionally destabilizing the surface we are sitting on and requiring our body to actively balance and dynamically adjust its posture the entire time we are sitting. The easiest way to do this is by sitting on an air filled sitting disc . When sitting on these discs your body actively tries to keep your head level (to simplify vision processing) by constantly adjusting and balancing long chains of muscles to compensate for your weight shifting with each motion you make. Using a sitting disc can turn the simple act of rotating your head into a full body action, engaging muscles all the way from your head to your feet. It is this type of dynamic engagement that keeps our muscles alive and active.
A sitting disc is easy and inexpensive to incorporate into your existing office setup and to start exploring Active Sitting. It is important to note that you should not expect to sit on them continuously for the whole day. Rather, use them for half an hour at a time, taking them on and off your chair throughout the day. Since they make active use of your core muscles, once you fatigue it is easy to unconsciously prop yourself up somehow and circumvent the destabilization that the disc offers.