Scientists claim that sitting at a desk all day for work is actually killing us! In fact, experts like Dr. James Levine, Director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative and the inventor of the treadmill desk, says that a sedentary lifestyles is worse than smoking!
Many of us have desk jobs where we sit at a computer, answer phones, type, and roll around in our chairs all day long. Luckily, you can perform these five simple yoga postures and stretches at your desk in a few minutes to get your body moving. Remember to make yourself and your health a priority…
The scale pose offers an excellent stretch for your abdominals, shoulders, hips, butt, and legs. It can help wake you up after sitting for the morning—in preparation for an energetic afternoon.
To perform the scale stretch, sit at the edge of your chair, press your hands down on either side of your hips and raise your legs and butt up off the seat. Engage your deep abdominal muscles and keep the tops of your shoulders down; hold for 3 to 5 breaths. Lower and repeat 2 more times.
I love a seated twist! It’s kind of like wringing out the inside of your body—including your internal organs, which is why it’s so great for digestion.
To perform a seated twist, turn to your left. Use your left hand on the back of the chair to deepen the twist. Hold for 5 to 8 breaths and then twist to the other side.
Cow Face Arms
This stretch with the rather funny name is no joke when it comes to stretching out the muscles of the upper back, upper arms, chest, and hips when you’ve been sitting for long periods of time.
To perform a cow face arms stretch, bring your left arm behind your back and right arm behind your head. Clasp fingers if you can. Hold for 5 to 8 breaths; switch sides. For a deeper stretch, exhale and bend forward, then inhale back to upright.
Ankle to Knee
One of the best hips openers in the yoga class, this deep hip stretch (or piriformis muscle stretch) can help reverse the tightness that comes from sitting all day long.
To perform this stretch, place your left foot on your right knee, letting left knee drop open. Keep your back straight; lean forward to stretch deeper. After 5 to 8 breaths, switch sides.
Seated Forward Bend
Ahhhh, the seated forward bend stretches the hamstrings (the large ropey muscle along the backs of the legs) and stretches and lengthens the spine. Done on the floor, this stretch needs a bit of room.
To perform a seated forward bend, push your office chair straight out from your desk while seated, to allow yourself some room. Sitting up straight, take a deep inhalation, and exhale as you fold your body forward, head towards knees, neck relaxed, and see if you can wrap your arms under the back of your knees. If not, let them hang at your sides, or touch your toes. Relax. Take 5-8 breaths here and hug yourself.