Office Chair Blues

DISCLAIMER: I’m a designer, and it pains me that since I can’t have a professional photographer take pictures of me while I work out, I need to resort to image searching on Google for pictures on the blog (minus food pictures). That being said, I’ve decided to use really cheesy/awkward stock photography whenever possible. Cool? Cool.

Sitting in an office chair all day can really bad for your health and posture, but unfortunately most of us are stuck in them all day long, wah! But I found this great list of quick postures and exercises to do while you’re stuck in da cube all day. (via Ana Forrest)

Let’s start by learning how to breathe. Inhale and expand the ribs, feeling for moving the ribs all the way up into the armpit. Exhale, pull the belly in emptying all the used air out. This helps purify the lungs which raises your energy levels and increases your metabolism. Breathe like this throughout all these poses — and in the rest of your life!

Spinal Twist: While sitting in your chair, do a simple twist to release the back. Inhale, sit tall. Take your right hand across the torso to the left arm rest, left hand on the back of the chair. Exhale, twist to the left. Stay for five breaths and then switch sides.

Shoulder Shrugs: These massage out upper back and neck tightness and strengthen the upper back which helps you sit up straight. Inhale, hold the breath. Lift your shoulders high up to the ears and squeeze them straight back. Exhale, squeeze your upper shoulder blades together and drag them down the back. Keep the arms relaxed. Inhale, breath into your upper back. Exhale, pull your mid-shoulder blades together and down. Inhale, broaden the upper back. Exhale, squeeze the bottom tips of your shoulder blades together, elbows squeezing towards each other and drag down. Do three sets.

Neck Release: Follow the shrugs with a gentle neck release. First, put your left hand, palm down, under your left sit bone, fingers pointing toward tailbone. Lean right, relax your right ear toward your right shoulder. Keep the chest lifted. Breathe into the stretch on left side of neck; relax into the stretch.

Step two, if you have a neck injury, leave your right arm down through this exercise. If your neck is okay, reach the right arm up over head and wrap the fingers lightly around the jaw. Allow the weight of the arm to increase the stretch in the neck, do not pull on your neck. Then, roll the head one inch toward chest. Breathe deeply into the new stretch on the left side of the neck, relaxing the neck. Finally, release the top hand, bow the chin towards the chest, putting both hands on your knees. Take one full breath into the back of the neck, keeping the back of the neck long. Then use the left palm at the center of the forehead, inhale and ease the head up. Repeat on both sides.

Agni Sara: If you have high blood pressure, only hold the breath for a couple of pumps per round. If you are pregnant, wait until after delivery to do this.

To work the abs getting them stronger, more toned and supporting the back, experiment with Agni Sara while sitting. This needs to be done with the belly empty of food. Inhale, forcefully exhale through the mouth, chin down towards chest. Empty of breath, pump the belly in and out by alternately pulling the belly up and back towards the spine then relaxing it completely. Do three to five pumps before inhaling. When you need to inhale, let the belly go and take a deep breath. Do a few rounds then stretch the abs by clasping the hands above the head, arms straight, arching back slightly over the chairs back rest. Keep both sit bones down on the chair — don’t flip over!

Back Release Pose: This exercise is for the thighs, hips and lower back. Cross one ankle over the opposite thigh, knee opening out to the side, exhale and lean forward over legs. Relax the neck and arms. Hold for five breaths and then do the other side.

Pretty good stuff. I’m also really interested in getting one of these chairs- I’ve heard great things about them. This one is from Gaiam– does anyone know the best brand out there?

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