Do you sit at a desk for most the day? Then you could be on the fast track to muscle tension, poor posture, back pain, and weight gain.
When work becomes demanding, you may find yourself sitting stationary for hours. Not only does this increase stress on your body, but it contributes to mental and emotional strain as well. One source recommends closing your eyes for one minute every hour to focus only on breathing. But if you have muscle tension in your back, shoulders, and neck, you should take some time to stretch.
Here is an easy 10-minute, 4-move flow you can do at your desk to reduce tension and stress:
- Seated Cat/Cow: Sit with your knees together and your feet flat on the floor. Rest the palm of your hands on your knees. Inhale deeply, lift your chest while raising your chin slightly. Your hands may naturally slide back to mid-thigh. As you exhale, move your hands back to your knee, and arch your back and shoulders over, tilting your chin back down. Do this 5-10 times.
image via rishikulyogshala.org
- Seated Pigeon Twist: Begin in the same position as Seated Cat/Cow, with your knees together and your feet flat on the floor. Then, bring your right leg up so that your right ankle is resting your left knee. Keep your booty planted evenly in the chair. Gently take hold of your knee, and twist over your right shoulder. Hold his pose for a couple breaths. Then switch. Do this 3-4 times on each side.
image via doyouyoga.com
- Forward Bend: This pose is excellent for stretching your lower back. Sit in the same position as Seated Cat/Cow. Begin with your back straight. Inhale, and raise your arms over your head. On exhale, slowly lower down over your knees. Let your head hang. Rest your hands on the floor if you can comfortably reach. Inhale to raise your arms back over your head. Repeat 2-4 times.
image via more.com
- Extended Side Stretch: On your last bend, stay folded with your head hanging heavy. Take your right hand and place it on the floor next to your left foot. Extend your left arm upward, exposing your chest openly to the side. Look up to the ceiling. If this stretch is too intense, move your planted hand to the outside of your left foot. Slowly bring your outstretched arm down, and switch to the other side. Repeat 3-4 times on each side.
image via verywell.com
Once your flow is complete, take a ten-minute walk around your office. If your office has stairs, try traveling up and down a few flights. Getting the blood moving is good for your body and mind.