I remember my first year of Uni sitting at the desk for long hours thinking how unnatural it felt to just sit there hunched over a computer. My whole body began to change- my shoulders rounded forward, I started getting headaches, my neck was always tight, my lower back ached, and my hips felt like tight ropes. Not only did I notice physical changes, I also felt more lethargic, and craved sugar and caffeine to boost my energy. Having been a professional dancer where the longest I ever sat down was on a flight, this concept of removing myself from my body in order to sit at a desk for MOST of the time, felt like physical torcher!!
Poor pusture from desk work can lead to a snow ball effect on your health. This is why it is SO important to stay connected to your body and give it the stretches, breath work, and exercises it needs when you are working at your desk. In fact, your mental focus and productivity will improve because of it. When you exercise, you increase blood flow to your brain which increases awareness, you also feed those dormant muscles with oxygen and nutrients.
What I find most interesting is how humans can adapt to this dysfunction. If we do something long enough, it can dangerously become our new "normal", and we forget just how vibrant and healthy we can feel!
Sitting hunched over a computer shortnes and tightens the muscles at the front of your body, while making the muscles at the back become wasted and weak. It is important to do exercises that hold your skeletal frame in it’s most optimal position so that your organs and muscles can function properly.
Here are just a few benefits of doing exercises which improve your posture:
- Help respiratory problems
- Prevent varicose veins
- Cure back pain
- Aid healthy digestion
- Stop headaches
- Minimise work related injury
- Increase energy
- Minimise muscle cramps
- Strengthen your immunity
- Improve focus and productivity at work
- Look taller, slimmer, and feel more confident!
If you are not someone who likes the gym or going for a run, then you might find a hobby that keeps you moving, like dancing, cycling, swimming, or Pilates.
Here is an exercise video especially for all those desk workers out there to help you
- Open out your shoulders
- Release neck tension
- Strengthen back muscles
- Increase circulation to vital organise
- Relax the nervous system
If you are time poor, pick just 3 exercises from the video to do every day.
The next time you are sitting at your desk try setting an alarm on your phone that goes off every hour or 2 hours and take 5 to revive. Do 5 stretches, take 5 deep breaths, and drink 500gm of water.