Everyone working long hours in the office knows how continuous sitting can cause pain in the back and arms, and tension in the neck-shoulder area. Nowadays, we have plenty of ergonomically designed chairs and desks, but no matter how well we position ourselves at the desk, sitting in the same position all day long will create problems in the back and shoulder area.
Gently stretching and moving the back, shoulders, and the whole body in the middle of the working day can work miracles. Just 10-15 minutes a day can make a huge difference in how you feel both physically and mentally.
So, how to start making little favours for the whole body throughout the working day? Here are just a few tips and movements that you can use for a quick and gentle office yoga break. You can do all of this in your regular work clothes, trousers or skirt, high heels or not.
1.Get up every now and then – at least once every hour – to have a little walk around.
Did you know that sitting down slows down your metabolism? Sitting for prolonged periods of time every day can eventually even lead to disorders like diabetes. So, take breaks from sitting, go get some water from the water fountain or café, or greet your colleagues along the corridor. Leaving the computer screen for a few minutes gives a break for your eyes too!
If you find yourself getting stressed or anxious about something, take a few slow and calm breaths. As you breathe in, let your ribs and belly relax and “expand” allowing the breath to flow deeper. This kind of diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing calms down the nervous system triggering the body’s natural relaxation response. Focusing on breathing for a few minutes a couple of times during the day won’t take a lot of your working time; we can all afford that!
3.Keep changing your pose throughout the day.
As mentioned earlier, there’s no one position that can save you from back pain. Changing the pose every now and then, sitting in different positions and moving the back a little bit is the best option if we’re bound to sitting the whole day. If you can opt for an office where you have two desks – one for sitting and one for standing – go for it! This way you can take breaks from sitting while still working. However, you still need to take proper breaks every now and then and get away from the screen.
For a short office yoga break, we have chosen these seven yoga poses because they help you to gently stretch and move those areas that easily get tight and tense when working on the computer.
Standing Cat-Cow Stretch:
Back roll + Dangling:
Photo credit to yanalya and master1305 at freepik.com