Ok, so this headline is a bit misleading because in my view everyone should be doing yoga. But there are some specific reasons why office workers need yoga:
It’s not hard to see how sitting at a desk for long periods can impact your posture. It’s very common for my clients who work in offices to have reduced shoulder mobility and poor posture. Luckily, a consistent yoga practice can undo so much of the damage caused by sitting.
Sitting for long periods leads to stiffness and tension in the shoulders and neck. A carefully planned yoga practice can help to release this tension and may ease headaches.
IMPROVE BACK PAIN
Sitting hunched over a computer for long periods often leads to back pain. Yoga can help undo some of the damage caused by sitting as well as strengthen the core muscles, which also helps to relieve back pain.
When you are sitting for long periods, you overuse the muscles in the front body and undue the muscles in your back body. This can lead to imbalances and soreness or injury when your body attempts to compensate for this weakness by using alternative muscles. Yoga can help redress these imbalances with poses to target the muscles of the back body. A combination of poses to both strengthen these muscles as well as to stretch them out will help eliminate tightness and soreness as well as preventing future injury.
LOSEN YOUR HIPS
Sitting at a desk for hours on end almost always leads to tight hip flexors. Yoga can help you stretch out and gently open the hips. This is so important as lots of other aches and pains start in the hips. Because the hips link our lower and upper body if they are too tight it can pull the pelvis out of alignment, which has a knock on effect for other areas of the body such as the lower back.
Work is stressful. So many of us these days spend our lives in a state of near-permanent state of ‘fight or flight’. Yoga helps to switch on the parasympathetic nervous system which takes us out of ‘fight or flight’ and helps us to feel more relaxed. Not only does yoga have an immediate stress relieving response but it also has an accumulative effect, so the more often you practice yoga the more resilience to stress you build.
BOOST IMMUNE SYSTEM
Yoga also helps improve your immune system, again by activating the parasympathetic nervous system so practicing yoga can stop you catching the office cold.
Practicing yoga helps to improve focus and teaches you to be present in the moment, which over time improves your focus in other areas of your life too. Focus is important for performance. Although multitasking may seem like a good idea, it’s actually a lose/lose situation. There is no such thing as true multitasking, there is only doing two things sub-optimally. So yoga can help your career progression by improving your focus and productivity. Also, it’s my experience that yoga just makes you a nicer person so you’ll be better at navigating office politics! ha!
So it’s clear there are a number of reasons why office workers should be practicing yoga. If you’re ready to get started, download my free yoga sequence with diagrams and easy to follow instructions for you to practice at home. Fill in the form below to download the sequence now!
If you’re based in London, you’re in luck! I’m running a 6-week course of yoga specially designed for people who spend most of the day sitting at a desk. Find out more about that here.