If you spend hours in front of a computer you may suffer from backache, wrist pain, and stress.
Apart from taking short breaks every one or two hours, an effective way to reduce the discomfort is to perform these easy stretch yoga asanas (poses).
1. Neck roll
This warm-up exercise will ease tension from the neck and upper back. It can be done while sitting or standing.
Close your eyes and drop your chin to the chest. Move your right ear toward the right shoulder, then roll the head backward, and continue rolling towards the left until the head faces the floor. Repeat this three to five times before switching direction. Take long, slow breaths during the stretches.
2. Eagle arms
This asana helps relieve the stress in the wrists and the space between the shoulder blades.
Sit up straight on a chair and roll your shoulder blades back, with both the arms relaxed at your sides. Stretch your arms out in front of you at a 90-degree angle — palms facing each other. Next, place your right arm over the left, and try to press both palms together. Lift the elbows and hold the pose to a count of five. Repeat it with the left arm over the right.
3. Seated forward fold
This particular asana stretches the spine and hamstrings, thus relieving them of stress and pressure. Do not try it if you suffer from high blood pressure, glaucoma or detached retina.
Sit straight on a chair and spread your legs slightly wider than hip’s distance apart. Suck your bellybutton in and keep the feet flat on the floor. Now, exhale and slowly bend forward, with the hands touching the floor or your shins. You can let your head rest on your thighs and allow your shoulders to relax. Stay in this position for five breaths before going back to the upright position. Repeat for at least five times.
4. Seated spinal twist
Remaining seated for long hours may result in a stiff back. The twist asana will ease tension in your back muscles, and also aid better digestion.
Sit straight on a chair with armrests; you can rest your feet on the floor or sit cross-legged. Grabbing the armrest, twist your waist towards one side from the bottom of the spine. Hold the pose for a few breaths and then repeat on the other side.
5. Wrist and finger stretch
Continuous typing on a keyboard causes tremendous strain in the muscles of the fingers, wrists, and forearms. Doing a few stretches every two hours is highly beneficial, as it will relax the muscles and tendons by increasing the blood flow.
Stretch your arms overhead and rotate the wrists in air, both clockwise and anticlockwise. You can also close and open your fists, repeating it about 10 times. Another easy exercise is to extend your arms out, palms facing outward, and then bend the wrist inward and outward alternatively by interlacing the fingers.
6. Desk plank
Use your office desk to stretch out your limbs through this plank pose. It will release stress from your spine and your hamstrings.
Position your body diagonally to the floor at a 45 degree angle — by resting your hands at shoulder-width distance on the desk’s edge and your feet firmly placed away from the desk. Inhale and pull the elbows in toward the ribs — hold the pose for about five to 10 breaths. Next, exhale and press your chest back to the starting position.
7. Chair pigeon pose
Those with the habit of crossing legs while sitting can cause severe tension to their hips and lower spine. This can be rectified using the chair pigeon asana.
Place both your feet on the floor, and cross one leg over the other at a 90-degree angle. Let the foot remain flexed to avoid any undue burden on the knee. Maintain the pose for five to 10 breaths, until you feel a slight stretch on the thigh of the crossed leg. Repeat the pose with the other leg.