RTE Lifestyle Office Yoga

As seen on RTE Lifestyle recently, my tips on how to help yourself when you’re sitting at a desk all day.

Yoga instructor Orla Crosse is giving us some moves to do at our desks – without anyone, or everyone, knowing!

In my clinical practice as a Chartered Physiotherapist I regularly meet people who are troubled with back, neck, shoulder and even wrist pain as a result of the position they default into for 7-8 hours or more a day.

Yoga TwistYoga Twist

Human movement and strength are of huge interest to me and as a result I question everything in relation to how our body moves. Who said we need to sit to use a computer?

And why are the majority of office workers caught in the trap of sitting at a desk? I think we’ll all have standing workstations some day in the near future.

Let’s not accept that after a day sitting at a desk it’s normal to have pain. Even if you have the best set up at work, the body isn’t built for sitting! Every muscle and joint in your body craves movement. When we are desk bound, the body has to hold a fixed movement for long periods of time. Where there’s little movement, stiffness can become an issue and eventually pain. Fear not!

There is a lot you can do reduce any current pain you have and also to prevent problems arising in future. The majority of these symptoms are preventable and manageable. It will take a little consistent effort from you, but when you know where to start that’s half the battle.

Stretch it outStretch it out

Here are my top three simple moves for anyone at a desk for their day. Once every couple of hours would be a great start.

1. Seated Twist

Sit tall, Take a big breath in and on an exhale slowly turn your whole body to the left. You can use the arms of the chair to support and guide you around. Release and repeat on the opposite side. Try 5 each side.

2. Neck Retraction

Sit tall, slowly move the back of your head towards the wall behind you as if creating a double chin. Don’t look up, keep your gaze straight ahead. Release and repeat 10 times.

3. Shoulder Shrugs

Sit tall, let the arms hang by your side. Lift the shoulders up near the ears, gently push them back, down and back to the starting position as if you’re making circles with your shoulders. Try 10 circles.

Tip and Tricks

  • More obvious tips you’ve heard before include standing up regularly and taking short breaks.
  • Laptops are not intended for prolonged use (oops).
  • The fact that the keyboard is fixed to the monitor could lead to uncomfortable positions.
  • If you absolutely have to sit, select a chair with adjustable height and arm rests.
  • Always question, do you HAVE to sit? If you don’t, check out this great find from a growing Irish company: miDesc. Smart move guys!

Let yoga bring balance to your work dayLet yoga bring balance to your work day

If my tips above help you out, great! Pass them on to your friends. If not, you may need more specific and prescribed exercises from your local Chartered Physiotherapist.

Orla Crosse is a Chartered Physiotherapist and Yoga Instructor in Clonmel and Limerick. Orla merges her Physiotherapy skills with traditional yoga in her Performance Yoga classes. Check out performanceyoga.ie for more details.

Thank you RTE Lifestyle for the opportunity