4 Chair Yoga Moves That Treat Back Pain Sustained From Slouching at Your Desk Job

Photo: Getty Images/JGI Tom Grill
A lot of jobs require a whole lot of sitting—and considering that the average workday consists of at least eight hours, that's a minimum of 40 hours a week spent hunched over your desk. Not only does all this time on your booty cause pain all over your body—especially in your neck and back—but experts say it can also increase your risk of developing health issues like diabetes and heart disease. So how do you combat a problem like this that originates from something over which you don't have much control (as in, your job)? Do a little yoga, of course.

Yoga instructor Mary Ochsner recently shared her fix for avoiding the aftermath of slouching for hours on end, and you don't even have to leave your chair to get some relief. "Most of us spend the majority of our days slouched at our desks, hunched over the steering wheel of our cars, or leaning over our phones," she writes. "The next time you’re at your desk for too long, try these poses for a great stretch. They'll help counter the slouch and improve your posture."

"Most of us spend majority of our days slouched at our desks, hunched over the steering wheel of our cars, or leaning over our phones." —Mary Ochsner, yoga instructor

Sure, you might get some side-eye stares from your coworkers, but once they see how much these simple poses positively impact your life, they might just take a hint and make 'em a habit, too.

4 yoga poses that can help combat the effects of sitting all day long.


1. Eagle arms

Ochsner's advice: "Cross your arms the best you can. Lift the elbows up to align with your shoulders, and keep your hands reaching away from your face for an extra stretch."

2. Clasp hands behind back

Ochsner's advice: "This simple pose opens the shoulders and chest. Remember to squeeze your shoulders onto your back, and keep the neck long."

3. Seated cat and cow pose

Ochsner's advice: "The office-appropriate version of this pose can easily be done at your desk. Move slowly and breathe in each pose."

4. Cow face arms

Ochsner's advice: "Why do they call it that? I don’t know. But this is one hell of a shoulder stretch. Most people are better at one side or the other, and it’s totally okay if your hands don’t touch."

Memorize these yoga stretches that will help you feel better when that time of the month rolls around. Or, check out the yoga poses that will tone your lower abs and strengthen your practice.

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