From desk to mat: how yoga can improve the health of office workers

In today’s fast-paced world, office workers often find themselves battling a variety of health issues that stem from long hours spent at the desk. The sedentary nature of this lifestyle can affect your physical and mental well-being. However, including simple yoga practices into your daily routine can significantly improve your overall health and vitality. Eye strain, slouching, exhaustion, lack of concentration, and even strained interpersonal relationships are some of the common challenges faced by those confined to their workstations. Yoga offers a holistic solution to address these concerns. Scroll down to learn how yoga can improve the health of office workers.

How does yoga improve the health of office workers?

1. Helps relieve tired eyes

Eyestrain is a frequent problem among office workers who spend hours staring at computer screens. The 20/20 rule can ease this tension. Every 20 minutes, take a break and close your eyes for 20 seconds. This simple practice allows your eyes to rest and rejuvenate. Eye exercises also relieve eye strain. Start by looking at a point between your eyebrows, then shift your focus to the tip of your nose. Next, direct your gaze to the right and then to the left. Then, rub the palms of your hands together to create heat, and then place them over your closed eyes. This technique relaxes the eye muscles and provides a calming effect.

Also read: Tired eyes? 9 Ways To Help You Get Rid Of Eye Strain Fast

Do you have tired eyes? This is how yoga can help. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Improve posture and relieve tension

Slouching is another common consequence of working at a desk, resulting in poor posture and strain on the shoulders and back. An effective yoga pose to correct slouching is Talasana 2. This is how it is done:

  • Begin by standing tall with your feet hip-width apart.
  • As you inhale, raise both hands above your head as you rise onto your toes.
  • Hold this position for a few breaths before exhaling and slowly lowering your arms in a backward rotation and returning to the starting position. This movement helps to open the chest and improve posture.
  • You can then interlock your fingers behind your back and lift your chest up while trying to look up and behind you. This exercise stretches the chest muscles and promotes an upright posture.

3. Recharge and relax your body

Burnout often affects office workers and leaves them exhausted. During breaks, you can participate in activities that promote relaxation. Nispanda Bhava, a yogic technique, can help achieve a state of deep relaxation. Here is how to do it:

  • Just lean your back against a chair or wall, with your hands on your thighs, palms up.
  • Close your eyes and focus on the fading sounds around you.
  • Allow your mind to relax and your body to recharge.

4. Cultivate mental clarity

Lack of concentration is a common challenge faced by office workers. An effective technique to improve focus is abdominal breathing.

  • Sit comfortably in your chair with your hand resting on your belly button.
  • As you inhale, focus on expanding your abdomen and feel the breath fill your lower belly.
  • Breathe out slowly, allowing your abdomen to contract naturally.

This deep, mindful breathing calms the mind and improves mental clarity, allowing you to stay focused and centered amidst a busy work environment.

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Also read: 5 Reasons Why Yoga Can Be Great For Your Mental Health

Benefits of belly breathing
Try deep abdominal breathing to relax and rejuvenate. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

5. Foster compassion and connection

The demanding nature of office work can sometimes strain interpersonal relationships. Maitri Bhavana is a practice that cultivates benevolence and compassion towards all beings. Here is how to do it:

  • To apply Maitri Bhavana in the office, start by finding a quiet and comfortable space where you can sit or even practice it quietly during your working hours.
  • Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to center yourself.
  • Then visualize your colleagues or specific people with whom you may have strained relationships or conflicts.
  • While holding your image in your mind, silently repeat positive affirmations or phrases such as “May you be happy and successful.”

Recognize that everyone has their own challenges and struggles, and by cultivating Maitri Bhavana, you can contribute to a more compassionate and supportive work environment.

Incorporating yoga into your daily routine as an office worker can have huge benefits because it allows you to thrive in a desktop environment.

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