When you sit, you use less energy than you do when you stand or move. Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns. They include obesity and a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels — that make up metabolic syndrome. Too much sitting overall and prolonged periods of sitting also seem to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Many great companies offer ergonomic working environment for their employees. However, that might not be enough as it is up to you to ensure that you are not sitting for too long absorbed in your work. Sitting at a desk for hours puts strain on the lumbar spine – causing neck, shoulder, and low back pain.
Do the following stretches at your desk or on your chair at least once every 1 – 2 hours to stretch out your wrists, sides of your body, legs, back, and to speed up blood circulation throughout your body.
Seated Crescent Moon Pose
When you sit for too long, your body will naturally want to hunch over, causing neck and shoulder pain. To fix this, gently stretch out both sides of your body by bending away without pulling too hard. Take 2 – 3 deep breaths during each stretch and release with an exhale before stretching the other side.
Chair Pigeon Pose
Most of us like to sit with our legs crossed, especially one preferred over the other for a longer period of time. This creates imbalance to the hips and the lower spine. To fix this, sit with both feet flat against the floor and back straight. cross your right leg over the left knee at 90-degree ankle, resting its ankle on the left knee, and gently twist your back away from the right ankle. Hold 5 – 10 breaths before switching to the other side.
Sit and Stand Chair Pose
Use the side of your desk as a support for pushups at 45-degree angle. Your elbows should bend to a 90-degree angle, hugging the elbows in towards the ribs. Repeat this 8 – 12 times to stimulate better blood circulation to the brain and vital organs in your body. An alternative to this pose is a desk plank pose – simply place your hands shoulder width distance or wider at the desk edge to lengthen your spine and stretch out your hamstring.
..and that is it!
When you are feeling the strains, pains, or soreness throughout the body from sitting too long, start with the Seated Crescent Moon Pose, then Chair Pigeon Pose, then desk Chaturanga (or Desk Plank Pose).
Our job occupies the majority of your life, whether it is spent sitting, typing, lifting objects, or anything that requires repetitive motions, we recommend that you would make it a priority to take care of your body and appreciate how much it can do for you.