From the outside, sedentary jobs can seem light enough as most of their time is spent sitting at a work desk. In reality, even sitting at a desk all day can be detrimental to one's health. Studies have shown that 1 in every 10 urban Indians follows an active lifestyle that involves one hour of exercise in a day. The remaining 9 lead a sedentary lifestyle with some sitting for at least 15 to 17 hours a day. In fact, those in the age group of 16 to 34 years make up for 20% of people treated for back and neck conditions in India. Being at a desk all day can affect your back, shoulders and legs.
We spoke to yoga expert Mr. Manish Pole and Mr.Mudit Dandwate, Co-founder of Dozee for their yogic expertise on poses to try at home to reduce stiffness and aches from sitting at a desk all day long. These are majorly muscle stretches to help loosen up the shoulders, neck, arm and leg muscles which you can do from the comfort of your work desk without having to move away. Yoga not only stretches your muscles, but also strengthens them to combat overcompensation by other body parts and brings peace to the mind.
1. Shoulder And Neck Stretch
We all know the stress desk jobs can bring to the shoulders and neck because of constantly having to sit and work on devices. Start by stretching your arms from the side, following it with 'namaste' and exhaling. Round your back with hands still joined and gradually stretch upward and open your shoulders. Release and twist your body on both sides.
2. Arms And Neck Stretch
Start with your body in a relaxed position, shrug and release. Repeat twice and then rotate your shoulders while your fingers touch your shoulders. Release. Rotate your neck and then turn side to side. Stretch your triceps when doing so.
Try these poses at your work desk too
3. Standing Forward Fold
The Standing Forward Fold is a great pose to stretch your legs and shoulders. It also provides a soothing sense of release, which helps you reduce stress. Stand with feet grounded at hip width and slowly bend forward at the waist. To take any strain off of your lower back, bend slightly at the knees. Next, interlace your fingers behind your back with straight arms and let your them fall forward over your head and towards the ground. If you have tight shoulders, you can hold a belt between your hands; this allows for a deep, but less intense stretch.
4. Child's pose
Sit on all fours then bring your knees and feet together as you sit your buttocks back to your heels and stretch your arms forward. Lower your forehead to the floor and let your entire body release. Hold for as long as you wish. Everyone needs a good resting pose and Child's pose is a great one, not just for beginners but for yoga practitioners of all levels.
These yoga techniques additionally will play an important role to help you stimulate better health even when you're tied to your desk.