Extended periods of sitting, whether it’s in front of a computer, during a car ride, or on a plane, can have a detrimental impact on your body. These days, sitting in front of the screen has become for as long as eight to nine hours has become a common practise. While it is a requirement for the work realm, we also owe something to our body which we exert so much.

Sitting for long hours often leads to stiffness, fatigue, and an overall sense of discomfort. But have you ever wondered about the physical implications of prolonged sitting? According to experts, sitting for long hours can result in tight hip flexors, which in turn can cause lower back pain. These hip flexors are connected to the front of the lumbar spine, pelvis, and femur. When they tighten, they exert continuous strain on your back. This tightness can also affect your pelvis, rib cage and diaphragm, and even weaken the glute muscles, creating a domino effect of discomfort.

Engaging in yoga postures that specifically target areas of tension can serve as an effective remedy for the ailments commonly experienced in desk jobs. Additionally, the mind-body aspect of yoga can help alleviate the damaging effects of stress associated with high-pressure jobs by calming the mind and reducing racing thoughts.

What Happens When We Sit For Long Hours?

Furthermore, many individuals experience tension in their upper body, neck, and shoulders as they spend the majority of their day typing or hunching over a computer or phone. Research indicates that leading a highly sedentary lifestyle is associated with a shorter lifespan and an increased risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, along with various other serious health problems.

Importance of Self-Care for Office Workers

India.com got in touch with Dr. Rajeev Rajesh, Chief Yoga Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute, Bangalore, who explained why yoga is important in this hustle culture. It can be challenging to divert attention away from screens and dedicate time to much-needed rest and relaxation. However, it’s crucial to recognize that self-care plays a vital role in enhancing productivity, workplace satisfaction, and overall personal and professional success. And that’s where yoga comes in as an amazing self-care tool for you. Yoga can improve and promote compassion, kindness, and self-love, giving you permission to take care of your own needs. It provides a space for awareness, contemplation, and introspection, helping you uncover your genuine needs. Through a consistent yoga practice, you gain insights on how to creatively and effectively address these needs in your unique life.

How to Incorporate Yoga into Your Office Routine and Achieve Balance

Incorporating yoga into your daily routine has the potential to revolutionize your physical and mental well-being. The benefits of yoga extend far beyond addressing physical ailments like neck pain or joint discomfort. Engaging in this practice allows you to gain a deeper understanding of the patterns and strengths that shape your life. This self-awareness plays a pivotal role in achieving a harmonious work-life balance. By clearing mental clutter, yoga empowers you to stay organized and plan your day with precision, avoiding unnecessary obstacles.

4Yoga Poses to Relax Your Back and Shoulders

Cat Cow Pose:  Assume a kneeling position on the floor, ensuring your hands are placed firmly in front of you. Maintain a shoulder-width distance between your hands and position your knees directly beneath your hips. Take a deep breath as you gently curve your lower back, raising your head and tilting your pelvis upward, resembling the shape of a “cow.” Exhale fully and engage your abdominal muscles, arching your spine while lowering your head and pelvis, mimicking the form of a “cat.” Repeat this sequence multiple times.

Child’s Pose: Assume a seated position on your heels, allowing your knees to spread comfortably at a distance equivalent to the width of your mat. Slowly lower your head towards the floor. Choose one of the following arm positions: extend them forward, let them rest by your sides, or place your hands underneath your forehead. Take deep breaths, directing the inhalation into your lower back area. Remain in this restful pose for a duration ranging from 30 seconds to several minutes. When you are ready to exit the pose, exhale and gradually roll up, vertebra by vertebra, or return to a seated position with an upright spine.

Downward Facing Dog Pose: Begin by positioning yourself on all fours, forming a table-like shape with your back as the tabletop and your hands and feet as the legs of the table. As you exhale, lift your hips upward, straightening your knees and elbows, creating an inverted V-shape with your body. Ensure that your hands are shoulder-width apart, your feet are hip-width apart and parallel to each other, and your toes point straight ahead. Press your hands firmly into the ground and broaden your shoulder blades. Maintain a lengthened neck by gently bringing your ears towards your inner arms. Hold the downward dog pose and take slow, deep breaths. Focus your gaze towards your navel. Exhale and gently bend your knees, returning to the table pose. Allow your body to relax in this position.

Sitting Half Spinal Twist: Assume a seated position with a straight posture, extending your legs forward and bringing your feet together. Bend your right leg and position the heel of your right foot next to your left hip. Cross your left leg over your right knee. Place your right hand on your left foot and position your left hand behind you. Inhale gently and as you exhale, twist your waist, shoulders, and neck to the left, and direct your gaze over your left shoulder. Maintain this twisted position and continue to breathe slowly and steadily. Gradually return to the initial starting position and repeat the same sequence on the opposite side.