Be Fit Even if You Sit

Be Fit Even if You Sit

By Kyle MittanUniversity Communications
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Ahmad Alrashedi, a personal trainer at Campus Recreation, will lead the Sunrise Fit program when it begins on Feb. 5. The class aims to teach exercises that address the physical effects of aging. (Photo: Kyle Mittan/University Communications)
Ahmad Alrashedi, a personal trainer at Campus Recreation, will lead the Sunrise Fit program when it begins on Feb. 5. The class aims to teach exercises that address the physical effects of aging. (Photo: Kyle Mittan/University Communications)

Are you sitting at a desk staring at a computer while you read this? If so, chances are your pelvis is tilted and your shoulders are rounded – and neither are good for your posture.

Sunrise Fit, a Campus Recreation fitness program designed for UA employees, aims to help participants get moving and offset the adverse effects that sitting at a desk can have on the body, which only get worse with age, said Jake Minnis, fitness and wellness coordinator at Campus Recreation.

The eight-week progressive program, held at the Student Recreation Center, begins on Feb. 5. Classes run every Tuesday and Thursday from 7-7:45 a.m.

Sunrise Fit got its start last year as Silver Cats, and typically attracted people 55 and older. But the original name, Minnis said, gave the false impression that the program was strictly for seniors. The program was not and still isn't geared toward a specific age group, he added.

The program's focus, he says, is to provide workouts aimed at improving movement.

"It's never a bad idea to exercise," he added. "By going through this and actually training proper movement patterns, you're going to get stronger."

Some of the most common effects of working at a desk all day include interior pelvic tilt, a result of sitting too far back in a desk chair and leaning over a keyboard. The same activity, Minnis said, also can cause slouched or rounded shoulders. Together, these positions result in tightening of chest muscles and stretching of back muscles.

The goal of Sunrise Fit is to reverse these effects and make everyday activities easier, said Ahmad Alrashedi, a personal trainer at Campus Recreation who will lead the classes.

At the initial session, he will assess participants to determine individual goals, such as addressing joint pain or trouble walking, or improving one's sitting posture. The following sessions will begin with a few minutes of warm-up, usually stretching or cardio exercises, before the main workouts, which will change each session.

"I will make sure they enjoy the workouts by changing the workouts every time and targeting different muscles every session," said Alrashedi, a junior studying finance.

The sessions will close with a cool-down period, and end with a final round of stretches.

Louise Strayer, director of the UA HealthCare Partnership, which offers continuing education programs on nicotine addiction treatments, became involved in Silver Cats when it began last year.

"It was really fun, low-key and interesting, because every time, it was different," Strayer said, adding that Minnis, who taught the course when she began attending, had the participants use a variety of equipment. "That's what made it interesting – the introduction to the many different items that are out there that enhance your workout."

Strayer added the class is a good option for anyone, regardless of their fitness level.

"It could be a jump-start, it could be maintenance depending on where you are," she said. "It's definitely very well-structured."

The cost of the program is $80 for members of Campus Recreation, $115 for nonmembers. Click here to register.

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