Take A Mental Breather: “Desk Yoga” For Better Focus at WorkOctober 13, 2015
Are you sitting at your desk ALL DAY during school/work hours?
Are the tasks that you are responsible for constraining you to your desk chair?
Do you find yourself with progressing neck and/or back pain when sitting at your work station?
The American Medical Association (AMA) reports that sitting for extended periods of time can be detrimental for one’s personal health. Research has shown that individuals who sit for long periods of time (more than half of their waking hours) have a:
- 112% increase risk of diabetes
- 147% increase risk of cardiovascular events
- 90% increase risk of death caused by a cardiovascular event
- 49% increase in mortality from any cause
Every 45-60 Minutes
Standing and/or moving around for 3-5 minutes every 45-60 minutes has been a helpful tip in reducing your time sitting. You can set an alarm to remind you, stand up when talking on the phone, and/or take walking breaks. Below are some effective positions that you can do right at your desk! These exercises will help you take a mental breather and make sure that your neck, back, hips, arms and wrists remain pain free and in good condition to continue productivity.
When sitting, place your legs wider than hip-distance apart. Inhale and exhale as you bend forward towards your legs. Inhale and round your back, exhale and relax your entire body into your lap. Drop your head between your knees for complete relaxation of your neck. Hold for 5 to 8 deep breaths, then exhale when bringing your trunk back to sitting, resting posture.
Inhale and turn your shoulders to your left. Use your left hand on the back of the chair to slowly deepen the twist. Hold for 5 to 8 breaths, then exhale when bringing your body back to neutral position. Rest and repeat to the right.
Downward Facing Dog
Inhale and place your palms at the edge of your desk or chair (only if chair is stable). Spread your fingers part and stretch through the palm of your hands. With your arms straight, walk backwards until your body is in an “L” shape. With soft knees (not fully straight), deeply exhale and allow your chest yearn towards the floor. Hold for 5 to 8 deep breaths, then exhale when bringing your body back to neutral, upright position. May also be performed in seat position, as in the picture on the right.
Chair Pigeon Pose
Inhale and place your left foot onto your right knee. Exhale and let the left knee slowly lower towards the floor, opening up the left hip. Keep your back straight. Slowly lean forward for a deeper stretch, if needed. Hold for 5 to 8 deep breaths, then exhale when bringing your left foot off of your right knee. Rest and repeat with the right leg.
Inhale and lift your arms overhead; clasp your hands and rotate your palms towards the ceiling. Hold for 5 to 8 deep breaths, then exhale when bring your arms slowly downward to resting position. May also be performed in the standing position.
Inhale and sit up tall placing your right hand under your thigh and your left hand on top of the right side of your head. Exhale and gentle bring your left ear down towards your left shoulder. For a deeper stretch, gently rotate your head towards your left arm. Hold for 5 to 8 deep breaths, then exhale when bringing your head back up to neutral position. Rest and repeat with your right hand on top of the left side of your head.