When you think of “work-related health problems” does your mind immediately go to a warehouse or a construction site? Think again. The overwhelming majority of American workers spend over 8 hours each day sitting at a desk. And while desks are great for attracting clutter and displaying pictures of the kids, they’re not the ideal work environment for your health or your body.
Repetitive motions, poor posture, and staying in the same position can cause musculoskeletal disorders over time. Sitting for too long is also linked to neck and shoulder pain, obesity, carpal tunnel, and a host of other health problems.
Take a break!
Next time you’re in a 2 o’clock slump, try these easy stretches to get some oxygen flowing to your brain. These stretches take just 10 minutes and will give you a boost in energy and alertness to finish the day strong.
Description of Poses
All of these poses should be held for three to five breath cycles (inhale & exhale).
- First pose: Warrior pose/ Lunge
- Sanskrit name: Virabhadrasana
- Benefits: Trains one side of the body independent of the other to challenge coordination and balance. Also stretches the hips and engages the core.
- Second pose: Dancer Pose/ Quad Stretch
- Sanskrit name: Natarajasana
- Benefits: Improves blood circulation in the legs, reduces stress, and increases flexibility.
- Third Pose: Eagle Pose
- Sanskrit name: Garudasana
- Benefits: An engaging pose that stretches the hips, back, shoulders, and wrists all at once. Loosens legs and hips while improving balance.
- Fourth Pose: Revolved Chair Pose (or Twisted Chair Pose)
- Sanskrit name: Parivrtta Utkatasana
- Benefits: Lengthens the neck, stimulates the abdominal organs, helps to keep spinal muscles mobile, and reduces back pain.
- Final Flow: Sun Salutation A
- Sanskrit: Surya Namaskara A
- Benefits: Increases blood oxygenation by opening the heart and ventilating the lungs. Improves cardiovascular conditioning and reduces stress.
During all stretches, keep in mind…
Don’t do anything that feels too uncomfortable. If a pose causes you pain, back off a bit and find a place where you are comfortable. If you cannot breathe easily, you’ve gone too far!
Be aware of your hips while doing all poses. Try to keep them aligned and not let them skew wide.