Many people are stuck behind their desks working from 9 AM to 5 PM.
And most of the time, we just don’t have enough time to squeeze in a few exercises at the gym or even go out for a run or walk after work.
Now more than ever, we have a significant percentage of the population getting way less exercise than previous generations.
And when we do finally get home, we usually follow up on everything else going on outside of work, eat, and sleep. Rinse, and repeat.
That’s why it’s essential to get just a few exercises while you’re at work too!
By following few health tips for the office you can easily maintain your fitness to some extend.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be anything big or distracting, but do you want to spend all day literally sitting in front of a computer straining your eyes?
Of course not!
And with so many people working at home during the pandemic, working while getting some exercises in has never been easier.
Almost everyone has heard of yoga and how it has a lot of benefits – and if you’re new to it and are intimidated by the amount of information out there, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll talk about some benefits of yoga and meditation for office workers along with some helpful health tips for the office.
And we will also see some simple movements you can do at work so you can maintain fitness, clear your mind, and be the best version of yourself.
Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
Anxiety and Depression
The workplace is one of the most common places where people can fall under a lot of stress, anxiety, and even depression.
Forget about having a social life even at work, with easy access to many other people, when you have a lot of tasks with deadlines looming!
Or even when you do get to socialize, negotiating the waters of office politics can really put a damper on your mental health – and some people can turn to unhealthy eating habits, which causes weight gain, Skin & Hair Problems, and even increased stressed and anxiety from it.
One of the most helpful ways yoga can help you is to mitigate stress and anxiety.
Anxiety is the most prevalent mental health disorder in the entire world, affecting almost 300 million people.
Studies have shown that those practicing yoga and mindfulness are significantly affected less by stress, anxiety, and depression.
Of course, we want our minds to be as sharp as possible, especially at the workplace – and yoga and meditation have long been known to improve cognitive function, improve your mood, and reduce fatigue.
Regional Brain Gray Matter Density
Which ties into the improved cognitive function we talked about above – literally, using anatomical magnetic resonance images.
Studies have shown that those individuals who participated in a mindfulness program developed increases in gray matter concentration within their left hippocampus.
Whole-brain analyses showed increases in the posterior cingulate cortex, the temporoparietal junction, and the cerebellum – foreign words to a lot of people.
Still, this means that it all leads to improvements in emotion regulation, learning and memory processes, perspective-taking, and self-referential processing.
These are just some of the highlights of yoga’s benefits – but let’s get on to the simple Yoga movements you can do behind your desk to maintain wellness and improve your mental health!
First off, breathe easy
One of the most common things people overlook is the way you breathe.
I mean, we’ve been breathing our whole lives, what’s there to think about?
But, merely paying attention to the way you breathe so that you can breathe in the best way does a LOT towards reducing stress and lowering your blood pressure.
It’s also one of the best ways you can slip into a meditative state, maybe during your breaks or even after work, so you can clear your mind and be in a healthier mental state.
Not to mention focusing on your breathing forces you to take note of other things that can be significantly improved with just very minor changes, such as your posture – because if you’re like most people, you probably spend most of your working hours hunched against your desk.
- Sit at the front edge of your chair.
- Create a straight line from your ears to your hips.
- Knees should be even with hip joints.
- Feet should be flat on the floor, directly under your knees.
Adjust your chair as best as you can, and don’t be afraid to use a book or two to position yourself as close to the above as possible.
Breathe through your nose and from your diaphragm, and don’t be shy in letting your stomach inflate slightly with each breath.
Wrist and Finger Exercises
If you’re doing a lot of typing, you can’t forget about stretching your wrist and fingers every once in a while to take the tension out of them.
- Stretch your arms to each side and overhead
- Rotate your wrist ten circles inward and ten circles outward.
- On the fifth rotation or so, spread your fingers wide and close them into a fist.
- Repeat the above until you finish all your rotations
Our shoulders and back definitely take in a lot of tension throughout the workday, and following these easy steps does a lot in alleviating stress.
- As you’re inhaling, draw your shoulders up.
- And as you exhale, move them downward and slightly forward, for a few times.
- Switch it up by moving downward and slightly backward a few times
Another easy exercise you can do to take a lot of tension away from your back and spine are seated twists.
- With your back against the backrest, lift your arms over your head as you inhale, and allow your spine to lengthen.
- As you slowly exhale, twist to your right, slowly lower arms, and place them on the right armrest or thigh for support.
- Hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Repeat, twisting to your left side as you slowly exhale
Seated Crescent Moon Pose
Don’t forget to take care of your sides for a happier and healthier neck and shoulders.
- Lift your arms over your head, palms together
- Lean-to the right, and hold this pose for 30 seconds
- Lean-to your left, and hold this pose for 30 seconds
Repeat a few times until you feel the tension leaving your sides.
So if you’re not sitting at your desk all day, squeeze in a few storks poses to relieve tension from your lower body as well.
- Stand in front of your desk, holding it for stability
- Press your feet down on to the floor
- Slowly lift your right knee, and hold it with your right hand
- Hold this pose and take a few breaths, making sure to pull in your abdomen as you inhale
- Slowly exhale and come out of the pose
- Repeat, switching sides
As you become more familiar with this pose, let go of your desk to practice your balance.
Your Best You
If you want to get the most out of life and become the best version of yourself, you have to get the most out of everything you do.
There is no reason why you can’t do simple, non-intrusive exercises while you’re working on a report for the boss.
Try these activities and health tips for the office, and see how doing these easy, simple steps can change your quality of life!
About the author:
Elliot Robinson is an international fitness model and a competitive athlete. When he’s not working towards competing at the Arnold Classic in Barcelona, he writes for Gunsmithfitness.com.