When we strive for a life of wellness, it should carry over into every area of our life. This applies at home, at social events, while running errands and at work. Yes. There are ways to incorporate wellness even while seated at your computer and tied to a desk eight hours a day — really!
Wellness Minute Breaks
There are a variety of ways to weave wellness into your daily office routine. I like to think of these little breaks as wellness minutes, because they can be brief and not overly complicated, inducing calm and comfort, not stress at having one more thing to do. Here are a few ways to get in touch with your wellness needs in brief moments at work:
- Take a mindfulness break. To keep your mind healthy and from feeling overloaded, it’s healthy to incorporate a little mindfulness into your day. There are many ways to do this. It can be as simple as setting a timer for one minute and focusing on your breathing, taking a five-minute walk outdoors or snagging a few minutes to write in a daily mindfulness or gratitude journal.
- Practice office chair yoga. Yoga is well-known for its mental and physical calming effects. But did you know you can get some of the same effects from your desk chair? Check out some of our moves in the section below to tap into this relaxing and physically beneficial option.
- Pay attention to ergonomics. You may be saying “Ergo what?” Ergonomics is the study of the efficiency of people’s work environment, making sure they are physically positioned appropriately. Your posture matters, and the way you hold yourself can be heavily dependent on the setup of your office. Working in an ergonomically correct environment depends on factors such as your chair height and back support, the height of your computer screen and keyboard and how closely you are seated to your work surface. Slight changes in the locations/heights of these objects can make a big difference in your posture and comfort.
Office Chair Yoga Moves
While you may not practice yoga on a mat in a studio several times a week, anyone can do these yoga moves and reap their benefits. Each one is designed to fight the stiffness that comes from sitting at a desk and to help you maintain better posture. Take a little break and try a few out today!
- Chest lifts – Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor, and grip the sides of your seat. Breathe deeply while lifting your chest. Exhale, releasing your hands. Repeat three times.
- Hip hugs – Cross your right ankle over your left, while your left foot is flat on the floor. Hold your ankle with your left hand and sit up as tall as you can. Gently lean over from the hip and relax as you stretch. Repeat on the other side.
- Spinal twist – Sit sideways in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Holding onto the back of the chair, twist your spine toward the back of the chair. Hold the stretch for several breathes, elongating the spine with each inhale and twisting a little further on each exhale. Repeat twice on each side.
- Cat/Cow stretch – Sit on the edge of your chair with a tall spine. Inhale, arch your spine and roll your shoulders down, bring your shoulder blades onto your back. Exhale and round your spine, drop your chin and let your head and shoulders rest, hanging forward. Repeat these movements five times.
While sitting all day may not be ideal, there are plenty of ways to combat the health and wellness concerns of a desk job. Want to learn more? Contact me to map out your personal path to wellness.
A nurse for more than 25 years, Karen David is a Certified Wellness Coach and Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist. She brings her passion for well living and calm presence to empower others in health and wellness. Karen is CEO of Live Life Well, LLC.
This article is for informational purposes only. Practices, services or products described are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please speak with a doctor before beginning any new health regimen.