Sitting in a chair and staring at a computer screen for most of your work day can be quite taxing on your body, mind, and mood. When I worked a “9-5” job, I can remember trying to get as much work done as possible in the morning so I could squeeze in a yoga class during my lunch break a few times a week. These yoga classes were my saving grace, and one of the reasons I decided to leave my job, do some traveling, and eventually become a yoga teacher.
I noticed on the days that I did get to a yoga class, I was much more productive and energetic in the afternoon and I even noticed an improvement in my sleep. I understand that getting to a yoga class during work isn’t always a possibility or even an option for some people, and some people don’t enjoy practicing yoga, so I’ve come up with some ideas and exercises you can do throughout the day. These won’t take up too much of your time – I reckon they might even increase your productivity level, which in turn adds ‘time’ to your work day.
Every 30 minutes, stand up from your chair and walk around it twice. How simple is that?
Slow neck rolls a couple of times a day – softly close your eyes, drop chin to chest, roll right ear towards right shoulder, back to centre (chin to chest), and left ear to left shoulder. Repeat 5-6 times, move the head slowly, and don’t forget to breathe deeply.
Stand-up with feet hips width apart, clasp hands behind you, and begin to forward fold slowly. Play with how much you bend your knees and do what feels good for you.
Clasp hands while standing and reach them towards the ceiling, reach up through one shoulder at a time to create some space through your side bodies.
Chair twist – Sitting in your chair you can hold onto right knee with left hand and twist towards the right, and vice versa (great for low-back pain).
Last but not least, stay hydrated – make sure you have a drink bottle at your desk that you can sip on throughout the day. This will also make you need to go to the toilet and refill your water, more healthy excuses to take a break come the computer for a moment.
This is just a short list of how you can make sitting at your desk more comfortable and better for your overall health.
If getting to a yoga class isn’t an option and you work in an office with other people, see if you can get a yoga teacher to come to you. This can be a great option and has become more popular in the past fews years as health and well-being have become important to companies. Some employers will even pay for the yoga or subsidise it to make it more affordable.
Feel free to comment if you have any favourite stretches/exercises you like to do whilst at work :)