Yoga Exercises Can Undo the Damage from a Desk Job

5 min read

Challenge: Sit at a desk with a straight spine and maintain good posture. Feet should be about hip distance apart. Weight should be evenly distributed on both legs and hips. Shoulders relaxed along the spine. Head lifted toward the sky. Breathe while you read this article.

Desk jobs can be a good way to get a routine at work. However, they also limit your flexibility and physical activity. You may also spend all day in front of the computer.

The damage caused by working at a desk is attributed to long hours of sitting down, poor posture, late nights, commutes, lack of sunshine, and stress.

Yoga can make you more mindful. It may not speed up your commute, but it will help reduce your time at work. Yoga can improve posture, which is important for long working hours. Yoga can reduce your stress and help you better deal with it.

Yoga can also help you ignite that inner flame to light up your workplace when you may not always be able to recharge with sunlight. Here are ten exercises that will help you undo the damage of your desk job.

Neck Stretch

Proactive Prevention for Text Neck

Exercise: Make half circles around the neck. Start from the right ear and reach the shoulder, then the chest, then the left ear, and go back to the shoulder. Repeat five times each on the right and left.

Yogi tip: Slower movements allow you to stretch the neck muscles and explore its range of motion. This can be a very relaxing and meditative exercise when you close your eyes. The blood flow will slowly move from the back of the neck to the prefrontal cortex.

Shoulder Shrug

Shoulder Slump: Proactive prevention

Exercise: Exhale and release the shoulder blades down the spine.

Elbow Circles

Preventive measures for Upper Chest and Shoulder Strain

Exercise: Bring the elbows in front of your body by bringing the arms to the side. Place the hands on your shoulders. Slowly make a circular motion with the elbows and bring them together in front of your body. Repeat this 5-10 times.

Repeat 5-10 times. Then, circle in the opposite directions with your elbows dropping to the chest.

Wrist Release

Proactive prevention for Carpal Tunnel

Exercise: Place both hands on the desk while standing. Start with the shoulders above the wrists in all positions. Slowly turn the palms up with the fingers pointing towards the body. Shift the shoulders from the wrists over the fingers.

Then, with your shoulders on top of the wrists, do the same exercise with the hands completely stuck to the table. Repeat the exercise by placing the palms down and pointing the fingers towards the body.

Lateral Extensions With Optional Twist

Preventive measures for Tight Chest and back

Exercise: While sitting comfortably in a chair, with your spine straight and equal weight on the hips, legs, and feet, extend both of your arms upwards. Slowly lower the right arm to the ground while lifting the right side of the body.

Continue to bring both shoulder blades to the same level and reach down to the back. Repeat as often as you feel comfortable. Breathe for 2-3 breaths, then switch sides.

Optional twist: Release the right arm from the armrest or base of your chair, and place the left hand on the outside of your right leg. Gently gaze over the right shoulder. Switch to the other side by inhaling both arms.

Forward Fold with Bent Legs

Preventive measures for Tight hips and collapsed spine

Exercise: While sitting comfortably in a chair, with equal weight on the hips and the legs, gently curl the chin into the chest. Then, roll the spine down as far as you can. Rest the arms on the legs, depending on your spinal mobility. Continue until you reach the thighs.

The upper back can be stretched by bringing the arms up to the calves or dragging them behind or in front of the thighs when the chest reaches these thighs. Slowly roll up. This will take you twice or triple the time it took to do this initially. Starting at the tailbone, roll one vertebra up at a time.

Figure Four (optional Eagle Arms).

Preventive measures for Lower back pain, tight hips, and shoulder stress

Exercise: While sitting comfortably, cross the right leg over and behind the left, flex the feet, and square the hips. Reach the hips forward while the sternum extends towards the front to lengthen the spine.

The hands can be lightly placed on the thighs, with soft elbow bends. For Eagle Arms, you can bring the right hand under the left. Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat the same on the opposite side.

Leg Extensions with Hamstring Stretch

Proactive Prevention for Stiff Legs

Exercise: Place both feet under your hips and shift the weight to the left leg. Step the right foot slightly forward (feet hip distance apart).

For the first two breaths, bend the left leg and reach down slowly, allowing your arms to rest on the floor, the floor, the calf, or the ankle. Maintain a straight spine, but relax it and let the spine take a natural curve. Slowly raise the spine to the center, tuck your tailbone, and then switch sides.

Ankle Rolls

Rigid Ankles: Proactive prevention

Exercise: Lift one ankle and spell the alphabet. Then, switch sides. You can also increase your ankle flexibility and mental strength by spelling the alphabet backward.

Chair Pose

Weak Muscles: Proactive prevention

Exercise: Lift the hips slowly and lift the legs over the chair. Place the toes together and the heels apart. Squeeze the inner thighs and lift the arms. Keep the knees above the ankles, and lift your belly button back and up.

Repeat this throughout the day, even if you need to get up every hour or so.

Complete: Have you maintained good posture throughout the challenge? You could read this article with greater awareness of your breathing and body.

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