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Must do yoga poses if you're working from home

A lot of us have been working from home, and our bodies are suffering as a result of it. Try out these stretches to feel better!

Ever since the pandemic began, many people have had to switch over to working remotely at home. Now, working from a make-shift home office definitely does not provide the same privileges that a fully functional office building does. What this means is that sitting in a chair that isn’t ergonomic for example, can cause pain and aches in different parts of your body.

There are some changes you can make to your work from home routine, however, to help reduce the occurrence and intensity of these body aches. Trust me, you’ll be rid of stiff shoulders and back pain in no time!

First things first, try to set up a proper workspace for yourself. Even if it’s temporary and nothing over the top, it will still make a drastic difference to your performance and the way you feel. Creating a designated workspace can also help you set that work-life balance which is why working from your bed is a definite no.

In an ideal situation, your laptop or desktop screen should be eye-level and your forearms should be parallel to the floor while typing. This seems like a simple fix in an office because you can adjust the height of your chair or request an extra monitor. At home you’ve got to work with what you have in most cases, but you can try to make some small changes that won’t require much investment.

Second, and more importantly, remember to move throughout your day. Sitting in one spot for consecutive hours is one of the main causes of body aches. Many of us find it difficult to be mindful of our posture while working which is why it helps to reset periodically. Often, we’ll put off moving in the middle of a workday because we believe it will take too long. What we don’t realize is that movement can help with posture and productivity.

Incorporating some simple yoga poses into your day will help a lot. Whether you do these during your lunch break or at the end of your workday, even 10 minutes of a yoga practice will help undo the effects of sitting in front of a screen all day.

Here are some stretches you can try without having to leave your workspace:

Seated Stretches

Now, we’re assuming that you’re most likely seated in front of your screen while working and that you ideally don’t want to leave your station to stretch. Here are a couple of stretches you can try without having to move from you seated position.

For this first stretch, sit at the front edge of your seat so that your feet touch the ground comfortably. Raise your right hand towards the ceiling and let your left hand stay pointing down to the floor. Keep this alignment as you bend towards your left and you should feel a nice stretch on your right side. Hold this position for a few breaths and then repeat on the other side with your left arm raised towards the ceiling and right arm lowered towards the floor.

The second stretch starts off with you being seated at the front edge of your seat so that your feet touch the ground comfortably. Cross your left leg over your right and twist your upper body to your left to bring your right arm to the other side oof your left knee. To go deeper into the twist, you can take you left arm towards the back of the room and also twist your face in that direction. Hold this position for a few breaths and then repeat on the other side. Don’t forget to have your right leg crossed over the left when you switch!

This next stretch is going to help your lower body especially if you’ve been seated for a long period of time. Sit at the front edge of your seat so that your feet touch the ground comfortably. Raise your right knee towards your chest. Hold your leg from below the knee with both of your hands and pull in your knee closer to your chest. Try to not move your chest towards your knee and instead try to bring your knee closer to your chest. Hold this position for a few breaths and then repeat on your other leg.

This last seated stretch is going to be one that you’ll thank us for! We probably don’t realize the amount of strain we put our wrists under while we’re working especially if there’s a lot of typing involved. This simple stretch will work wonders for your wrists. Raise you right arm in front of you with your palm facing upwards. Hold the fingers of your right hand with your left, and gently bend you hand at the wrist towards your body. Hold for a few breaths and then repeat on your other hand.

Standing Stretches

If you stand while you work, you’re already doing your body a solid favor! There are a couple of stretches you can try out while you’re working to help relieve the tension from your body.

Stand up straight and put your hands behind your head. Lean back slightly and look up towards the ceiling. Try to make sure your elbows aren’t closing in and try to push them towards the back of the room. You should feel like your chest is pushing outwards towards the front of the room. Take a few deep breaths before you slowly come out of this position to standing.

The second standing stretch is a great one for working on your balance. While you’re standing in front of you desk, raise your left foot and place it on the side of your right leg. Make sure to place your left foot either above or below your right knee, so as to not put any pressure on your knee. Hold for a few breaths and then place your left foot gently on the floor. Don’t forget to repeat on the other side too!

All these stretches are fairly simple and don’t take up much time. Another bonus is that you don’t have to leave your workspace to perform any of them. That means if you’ve been putting off stretching because you tell yourself it’ll take too long, you don’t want to leave your workspace or change into your workout clothes, you don’t have any excuses now. So get stretching now!

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