Regardless of your fitness level, sitting at a desk for long periods of time can wreak havoc on your body. Your back becomes tense, your neck muscles get stiff, and your wrists become strained. Even worse, If you don’t work diligently to counteract these damaging effects they will only get worse over time. Sitting all day at a desk will cause painful hip and joint problems by shortening your hip flexors. Poor posture causes back problems, and poor spine health can lead to painful premature degeneration. Don’t let your desk job steal your health from you!
If you sit at a desk most of the day, these three daily movements are a must-do!
1. Cat and Cow
This common yoga stretch will ease the tension in your shoulders, back, and neck. Start on the floor with your hands and knees on the mat. Your shoulders should be directly over your wrists and your hips should be directly over your knees. Turn your hands so your thumbs are pointing outwards and your fingertips are facing your knees.
Begin with the cow pose by exhaling as you arch your back while looking up toward the ceiling. Next, as you inhale a deep breath, curve your spine up towards the ceiling while bringing your gaze back down. This is the cat pose. Continue alternating between the two poses for as long as you’d like.
2. Forward Bend
Release some of the tension in your neck with a forward bend stretch. This stretch works best when you breathe deep and completely relax the muscles in your neck and back.
Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart and bending your knees slightly. Next, bend forward from your waist and let your head hang in front of your body. Now, interlace your fingers and place them behind your neck. From here, swing your upper body gently in a loose figure-eight movement. Continue this movement for as long as you like.
3. Low Lunge
This exercise will stretch out your back and hip flexors. Begin by kneeling on your mat with your palms on the floor directly under your shoulders. Next, bring your left foot up and place it beside your left hand on the mat. Pressing into your left heel, lift your chest and point both arms up to the sky.
Keep your hips square and your arms close to your ears during this exercise. Deepen the stretch by arching your lower back and bringing your gaze to the ceiling as your arms stretch behind you. Hold this pose for as long as you want, then repeat on the right side.
The harmful effects of sitting at a desk or on a computer all day will take a toll on your health if you don't routinely fight against them. Incorporate these three moves into your daily routine and you will see a huge improvement in your overall health.