Is poor posture resulting in back pain along with shoulder pain, negatively impacting your work productivity? If so, what you need is to try ‘Desk Yoga’! A form of yoga that is best suited to workaholics who cannot seem to make time to take breaks and get away from that chair, these exercises will improve the posture and regain the ‘S’ shape of the spine, as opposed to the ‘C’ shape that is a result of slouching behind the desk for long hours.
Why is Desk Yoga so necessary for those working long hours?
Poor posture has a lot of repercussions like neck and shoulder pain, even headaches and worse of all, reduced work productivity. Noticed how you seem to have so many aches by the end of the week that slowly creeps in?
Leaning too far forward to stare at the screen or slouching is very detrimental to spine health, causing neck and back aches, stiffness and cartilage compression. Experts say that even those who have a good posture otherwise can feel the stress of sitting behind a desk all day, as their muscles work overtime to hold the spine up. Stretching exercises, like Desk yoga, takes a lot of pressure off the spine, while it also allows the muscles around the lungs to stretch for enhanced lung function and better breathing, which will boost productivity as well as improve concentration and focus.
Desk Yoga: Improve your spine health with 4 simple poses
So if you are ready to get working on your spine health, we have for you 4 simple, yet effective exercises that can stretch the spine and keep back problems at bay!
1. The Seated Spinal Twist is a great pose that helps to release tension in the back muscles. To do this, begin by planting your feet firmly on the ground and stretch the spine, making sure the crown of the head in line with the tailbone. Cross the right leg over the left leg and exhale, while you twist from the lower belly towards the top leg, allowing the upper body to follow by twisting all the way to the neck. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and come back to original position as you inhale again. Then repeat on the other side.
2. The Forward Bend is also easy to do in a seated position and will bring fresh oxygen to the brain, while it will also relieve the stress in the lower section of the spinal disks. Again start by planting your feet firmly on the ground, a little wider that hip distance and shift to the front edge of the chair. Take a deep breath and lean forward, to bring your shoulders in level with the knees, and your hands next to your feet on the ground. Hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds while you breathe normally, and then rise back slowly while you take a deep breath.
3. Hands Alive is a great pose, a seated variation of the Urdhva Hastasana that will stretch your arms, shoulders and upper back to improve blood circulation and relieve stress in the cervical area. Sit tall and push your hips backwards into the chair. Stretch your spine upwards, trying to put space between your vertebrate. Inhale and then raise your arms towards the ceiling with your palms facing each other. Make sure the shoulders are away from your ears, with arms open wide and the fingers spread wide as well. Slowly close your fingers to make a fist and repeat this 6 times, as you keep the spine long and ensure the rib cage isn’t jutting out. Exhale and bring your hands down.
4. The Upper Body Twist will relieve stress on thoracic spinal muscles — the rhomboids and paraspinals that run along the spine between the shoulder blades. Sit up in the chair and fold your arms like a genie; wherein your right palm is cushioned against the inside of the left elbow, and the left palm is cushioned against the inside of the right elbow. While keeping your torso stable, swing your arms from one side to the other, while your spine stays straight and doesn’t move with the motion.
Just practicing these simple 4 exercises during your lunch break can offer relief from back pain, improving your posture and your overall productivity at the same time. So say goodbye to a stiff back, and climb up the ladder of success without decrementing your spine health!