Combat the effects of sitting for long hours by doing these yoga and full body exercises
By Nicole Ganglani | Photo by Retha Ferguson/Pexels
Sitting all day is the real silent killer. In case you didn’t know, long hours spent sitting, looking at your computer screen is directly linked to muscle degeneration, organ damage, back ache, weight gain and more. And with work from home being a staple for those lucky enough to stay home, sitting for periods of time is inevitable. But the good news is you can combat the effects of sitting down too much by doing some exercises.
Yoga is known to bring movement to your spine as it helps lubricate the vertebral disks, open stiff and sore muscles and ease the pain of long sitting sessions. Simple yoga poses such as the cat cow, supine abdominal twist, downward-facing dog, gate pose and bridge pose provide immediate relief for sitting down too much. Another benefit of doing these poses is that it boosts your memory and concentration levels, improving your productivity and ability to work from home.
Hinge, hold and stretch
The hip hinge stretch requires the body to bend downwards and in half. This exercise is designed primarily to strengthen your posterior chain or backside muscles—which are significantly affected when sitting down for long hours. Doing this movement consistently will also strengthen your core, reduce back ache, improve flexion (the action of bending) and your posture.
Lunge and rotate
The best part about the lunge and rotate exercise is that it addresses several specific muscles that are affected by sitting too much. If you think about it, it could qualify as a full body exercise. It opens up and stretches the hip flexors on the back leg, glutes, adductors on the front leg and allows extension and rotation throughout the thoracic spine and upper back. This movement counteracts your seated desk posture since it loosens up your whole back and leg muscles.
Walk it out
One downside of working from home is that you can’t go for a walk outside your office with your colleagues. But this shouldn’t stop you from taking breaks and walking in between your eight-to-nine-hour desk job. Did you know that sitting motionless for nine or more hours reduces blood circulation, heightens the risk of diabetes, depression and obesity? Even if those deadlines keep coming, remember to take breaks by walking for five minutes every hour. Walking has also been proven to improve your mood, stimulate creativity and focus and could be the best exercise for your mental health.