Combat the effects of sitting long hours by doing these yoga poses 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 and looking at your computer screen is directly linked to muscle degeneration, organ damage, backache, and weight gain. And with work from home becoming the norm for those lucky enough to stay home, sitting for long periods is inevitable. But the good news is you can combat the effects of sitting down by doing these exercises.
Yoga helps lubricate the vertebral disks, opens stiff and sore muscles, and eases 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 all provide immediate relief after sitting down for too long. Another benefit of doing these poses is that they boost 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 backache, and 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 affected by sitting too long. 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, and 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 nine-to-five desk job. Did you know that sitting motionless for nine or more hours reduces blood circulation and 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 improve your mental health.