It’s that time of the year again - the kids are going back to school; a lucky few are on their way to child-free holidays... and most of us are returning back to our work routine. As we all know, long days in the office can be taxing on the body as well as the mind, but with a few minor adjustments you can feel much better throughout and at the end of your working day.
It is important to realise that often the problem is not the particular position you are in, but rather being in it for too long without moving the body in other ways. The “trick” is to break the duration that one spends in the same position/posture. You can make small changes that wIll make you feel less tensed, tight and uncomfortable throughout the day. We hope you will find these useful and make a habit of using even just a couple of them regularly.
Stand up as much as you can
Sitting down for prolonged periods (even in the most comfortable of chairs) is taxing on the body. Tightness in the hips, abdominals, neck and shoulders are only a few of the negative effects of prolonged sitting. Try to find as many moments in your day where you can to stand up - even if it is just for 30 seconds! Try standing when you take phone calls, talk to a colleague or while watching your screen.
Set up a “stretch time” alert
Break long spells of sitting still by setting up a timer to remind you to change position or do a bit of mobilising and stretching. Every time the alarm goes off (every 20-30 minutes maybe) do a few movements such as:
- Stretching your arms up towards the ceiling (stretch your fingers wide away from each other)
- Rolling your shoulders back a few times
- Placing your hands behind your head and pressing your head back-into the hands
- Stretch your arms out to the sides with palms facing up and then take the arms as far behind the body as you can (pulsing back a few times).
Move your legs
Every time you get up and about during the day, use it as an opportunity to increase blood flow, move and stretch your leg muscles. Your calf and hip muscles can easily be stretched by leaning against a wall or a counter with one leg in front of the other - keep the back heel firmly on the ground and lean the pelvis forward until you feel the stretch. Tuck your tail under and pull your stomach and chest up to feel a stretch also at the front of the hips.
Sit on the floor
If you’re working from home, or in an open-minded office… try abandoning your chair for a short while a number of times during the day and sitting on the floor. There are many benefits to this position and getting to the floor and up again is a great exercise in and of itself. While sitting on the floor you are much more likely to be constantly mobilising your joints and stretching leg, hip and back muscles.
Five minutes of Meditation
During a long day of work your brain is bombarded with lots of information, that can create an overload which accumulates to high levels of stress. You can really reduce this stress by taking just a five 5 minute break once a day to do a complete shut down. Don’t worry if you don’t have access to a guided meditation session - simply sit comfortably in your chair, close your eyes and focus on your breath - becoming mindful of how you inhale and exhale. And yes, you will be thinking about other things… but when you realise it, just come back to your breath. Give it a go, it may make you feel much better.
You can find many more ideas for quick stretches, feel good moves and quick mediations in our featured classes for this month.
Have a good one
The yoopod team