YOGA AT WORK
Sitting hunched over a keyboard for hours on end wreaks havoc on your hips and legs, as well as your neck, shoulders and back.
If pain and poor posture aren’t bad enough, it’s the sedentary nature of an office job that’s the true occupational hazard. Experts warn against prolonged sitting as it increases a person’s risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Plus, more than six hours of sitting a day can shorten life expectancy. The answer is to get up and moving at work. Experts say taking standing breaks could lower a number of health risks. Now, many fitness trackers on the market have built-in
notifications to remind users to get up and move regularly.
Yoga instructor Suzan Colón has another solution. Her app, Take A Yoga Break ($2.99, iTunes), has a series of moves designed to help combat the health dangers of sitting. Based on traditional poses, her exercises will get you on your feet regularly, increasing circulation and loosening tight muscles while promoting deep breathing. “No special yoga equipment or clothing is required,” Colón says.
Program the timer. When the alarm goes off, it’s your cue to stand up and strike a pose. Here are a few of Colón’s moves to get you started.
1 TREE BREAK Flexes muscles supporting the spine and stretches feet.
Brace your chair against a desk and stand behind it with feet together and one hand on top of chair. Shift your body weight to your left foot without sticking out your left hip.
Inhale, bending your right knee enough to come to your tiptoes. Exhale, rotating right knee out as if opening a gate. Inhale then exhale, returning knee to front.
Do 5 times on each leg.
2 OFFICE CHAIR POSE Strengthens and tones quads.
Push your chair against a desk and stand arm’s length from it with your feet hip-width apart. Inhale then exhale, bending your knees as though you’re about to sit. Go as low as is comfortable and breathe at a normal pace. Inhale and stand – then exhale and bend your knees.
Do 3 times, rest a moment, then repeat 3 more times.
3 CORPORATE CAT Flexes muscles that support the spine and stretches feet.
Brace your chair against a desk and stand behind it, feet a comfortable distance apart, with both hands on top of chair.
Inhale a slow, deep breath as you arch your back without straining your neck and bend the left knee forward, coming to your toes.
Exhale and round your back while bending your right knee forward. Repeat this move.
Do 10 times total, letting the movements follow your breaths.
“Yoga adds years to your life and life to your years.”
– Alan Finger