Recent studies suggest that “sitting is the new smoking”. If your work demands you to sit 6-7 hours in the same position the impact will be similar to that of smoking cigarettes regularly.
It compromises your posture, leads to the accumulation of visceral fat, overstretches your wrist muscles, numbs your butt and increases back pain.
You may not realize how sitting is affecting your health initially as the symptoms start showing up slowly.
While there is no option to run away from these perils of having a desk job, you can surely reduce the impact by standing for 5 minutes after every 30 minutes and performing some simple workout to flex your muscles.
1. Chest opener
This exercise helps to flex the muscles of your back and shoulders. Chest opener exercise is excellent for stretching the muscles of your chest and reducing the problem of hunched back.
Step 1: Sitting straight with feet hip-width apart, hands interlaced behind your back close to your hip.
Step 2: Bend your torso and at the same time bring your hands up vertical to the body. The fingers should face the ceiling.
Step 3: Hold the pose for a few seconds and relax.
If you have ever performed lunges, doing lunge stretches would be easy for you. It is similar to lunges, the only difference is that it helps you stretch more muscles of the inner and outer thighs, hamstrings, and quads.
Step 1: Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and hands on your hips.
Step 2: Move your right leg forward and lower your body as deep as you can. Place hands on your knees for stability.
Step 3: Pause for a few seconds, come out of the stretch and then lunge back into it.
3. Downward facing dog
The downward-facing dog is an excellent yoga asana to reduce neck strain and back pain, common side-effects of sitting all day long.
Step 1: Come to all your four, so that your body makes a table-like structure. Your shoulders under your wrists and your hips over your knees.
Step 2: Inhale and lift your hips upward while straightening your elbows and knee to make an inverted V shape.
Step 3: Press your hand into the ground and straighten your neck. Fix your gaze to your navel and inhale.
Step 4: Pause for a few seconds, bend your knees and return to the table position.
4. Spinal twist
Spinal twisting helps to create inter-vertebral space. It lengthens the spine and flexes the muscles of your shoulders and neck.
Step 1: Lie down on your back on the ground and spread your hands out in a T-shape.
Step 2: Bend your knees with your feet flat on the ground.
Step 3: Turn both your legs towards the right side.
Step 4: Pause for a few seconds, repeat the same on the other side.
5. Reverse plank
While plank pose helps to target your core muscle, reverse plank helps to target the muscles in your lower back, hamstrings and your glutes. It can help provide relief from back pain and butt numbness.
Step 1: Sit on the mat with your legs stretched in front of you and palms placed firmly on the floor.
Step 2: Press your hips up high, holding legs together and look towards the floor. Your chest should be tight and your body in a straight line.
Step 3: Hold for 5 breaths, lower the hips to relax your body.