Sitting behind a desk for 40 hours or more a week is not good for our flexibility and strength. If you spend a lot of time at your desk, you increase the risk of suffering injuries, including sprains and muscle strains, both on the job and off.
Desk yoga has become increasingly popular as a way to keep the muscles loose, maintain flexibility, minimize pain, and decrease fatigue. You don’t need to be an expert yogi, either, to practice these simple desk yoga poses.
1. The Seated Twist
The seated twist is a great stretch to perform while sitting in your office chair. Lean back and place your back against the backrest. Next, breathe in deeply and lift both arms above your head. Then exhale as you twist your body to the right. Place both of your hands on the right armrest to support the pose. Repeat on the left side.
Remember to extend your spine each time you inhale and gently hold the post for up to a minute.
2. Shoulder Rolls
Shoulder rolls help to relieve pressure in your shoulders, upper back, and chest, and they are very easy to perform. To do shoulder rolls, inhale deeply and move your shoulders up toward your ears. As you breathe out, move your shoulders down. Repeat several times, keeping them controlled and slow.
3. The Seated Back Bend
The seated backbend stretches out the belly area, which can be cramped when you’re sitting and bending over a desk all day. You need to sit forward on your office chair and plant your feet firmly on the ground to perform this pose.
Keep your spine straight as you gently lean forward. Then, extend your arms behind you and grab the back of the chair. Keep your elbows straight, pull your shoulder blades back, and inhale slowly. As you exhale, release the pose and sit straight in your chair.
4. The Seated Crescent Moon
The neck and shoulders take a lot of strain while you’re sitting at a desk. The seated crescent moon pose can strengthen those areas. To perform this pose, sit in your office chair and lift your arms over your head. Place your palms together and lean to the left, then to the right. Hold each position for two to three slow breaths before switching sides.
5. The Stork Pose
The stork pose will ease tension and tightness in the hips and glutes. Stand in front of your office chair and hold onto it for stability. Lift your right knee and hold it with your right hand. Take a few deep breaths, in and out, then perform the same pose with the other knee.