Desk Yoga for the Office: Prevent Pain in Neck, Shoulders & Back

Spending too much time at our desks staring at a computer screen is the number one reason for most neck, shoulder and back problems. If you don’t have time for a full yoga session to relax your muscles, then our desk yoga for the office is perfect for you - you don’t even need to get up from your chair!
Desk Yoga for the Office: Prevent Pain in Neck, Shoulders & Back

You might think that including a yoga session into your workday is impossible, but with our desk yoga for the office we will show you the opposite. All you need is 5 minutes without disturbances. But why should you even do yoga at your desk?

Slouching at Your Desk: Why It Is Bad and How to Prevent It

The human body is not made to spend the whole day in one position, yet for years and often decades many of us are sitting in front of a computer at a desk  for 8 hours per day or more. Time takes its toll and we develop a slouching posture which can cause muscle tension as well as muscle and joint pain. Sitting slouched forward with your head leaning forward can even put up to 10 kg of additional weight on your cervical spine.

This is why a good posture while working is incredibly important. A proper workplace set-up can help you with this. Your screen should be inline with your eyes, so you don’t have to look up or down. Additionally an ergonomic chair with a backrest that supports the curve of your spine is a huge help too. But in the end it all comes down to regular movement.


Simple Yoga Exercises You Can Do at Your Desk

Ideally we should use our lunch breaks to get some movement and exercise, but between gulping down our lunch and getting back to the desk to reply to urgent emails, there often is not enough time for it. That’s why we’ve put together a list of office yoga exercises you can do at your desk. Sneak in a 5 minute session once or twice a day and you will soon feel a difference.


Center Yourself

Start by just sitting with an upright spine, close your eyes and take a few deep, slow breaths. This is also a great exercise to do at any time during your workday when you feel stressed or overwhelmed. A few calm, focussed breaths will help you to center yourself and to focus your energy. 

Give Your Wrists a Break

Extend your arms to the side and move the wrists in circles for a few seconds, then change directions. 

Extend one arm forward, with the other hand gently stretch your wrists inward and out ward for a few seconds, then repeat with the other arm. 

Seated Upward Salute to Take up Some Space

Stretch your arms out to the side, and with the palms up slowly move them towards the ceiling in a huge semicircle while inhaling. Then with the palms facing downwards move them back down again while exhailing. Repeat 5 times. 

Move Your Head and Keep Your Cervical Spine Smooth

Start with slowly moving your head and chin up in a vertical line till you feel a light stretch at the front of your neck, then move your chin down till you can feel a light stretch on the back of your neck. Repeat 5 times each. 

Then slowly move your head to the left and to the right with your nose drawing a horizontal line, repeat 5 times on each side.

Now draw vertical circles with your nose, starting with small circles that get bigger and bigger.

man touching neck in pain

Stretch out Your Neck Muscles

Drop both shoulders and bring your left ear to your left shoulder. For a deeper, diagonal stretch you can also slightly move your nose towards your shoulder. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly roll your head forward and towards to other side. If you meet resistance along the way you can pause and specifically stretch this spot. On the other side bring your right ear to your right shoulder and hold for a few seconds. You can repeat this stretch a few times if it feels good for you.

Loosen up Your Shoulders

Make big circles with your shoulders, repeat 5 times in each direction if it feels good for you. Then bring your shoulders up towards your ears and drop them while exhaling, repeat 5 times.

Seated Cat Cow to Move Your Spine

While sitting on your chair, rest your hands on your knees. While exhaling round your back and while inhaling move your shoulders back, your heart forward and lift your chest up. Repeat 5 times. This is a great exercise for a stiff back and to stretch your spine.

Seated Spinal Twist to Stay Flexible

Sit upright with an erect spine. Put your left hand on the outside of your right knee and turn your upper body to the right. With the other hand you can grab the backrest to help with balance and increase the twist. Hold for a few seconds. Release while exhaling and repeat on the other side.

Seated Side Stretch

Sit upright and raise on arm. While exhaling gently stretch over your head, reaching to the other side.You can use your other hand to hold onto the chair to help you keep balance and to be able to do a deeper stretch.  on the opposite side to help you keep balance for a deeper stretch. Keep shoulders in line with each other, don’t lean forward. Hold for a few seconds, the release and repeat on the other side. 

Seated Forward Bend

Slide forward to the edge of your chair and interlock your hands behind your back. Lift up your arms slightly and, open your chest, move your shoulders back and the shoulder blades together. For a deeper stretch you can lean forward between your knees, just pay attention to keep your spine straight. This is a great exercise to open up your shoulders and your chest, which are constantly locked when you slouch forward. 

Stretch Your Lower Back

Spread your knees to make some room for your upper body and with a straight spine lean forward. If possible, try to touch the floor with your hands. Hold the stretch for a few seconds and don’t forget to breathe. 

Seated Eagle to Stretch Your Shoulders

Move one arm under the other and try to bring your palms together. If you can, slightly lift your arms, till you feel a stretch in your shoulders and your upper back. Hold for a few breaths, then gently release and switch arms. 

Seated Pigeon for Your Glutes and Lower Back

Cross your left ankle over your right knee. Press your left knee down and lean forward till you feel the stretch in your hips and in your glutes. Hold for 5 breaths, then switch sides. 

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For more inspiration we’ve also included a video from one of your favorite yoga Youtube channels. Let us know in the comments how you feel after doing these exercises or if you have any other exercises you swear by to get through a full day of sitting!

For more info about yoga and a conscious lifestyle follow us on Facebook and for more infos about the best yoga studios in Budapest check out our website.




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