Even if we’re not sitting at a desk all day, we frequently find ourselves in rush hour, checking email, or just sitting for a couple hours at a time. Day after day it begins to take its toll, even on the most healthy bodies.
Set a timer to go off once an hour
When the timer goes off, take a minute (or a few) to move. Try a quick walk to the bathroom or the water cooler, stop by a colleague’s desk to ask a question instead of sending it via email, or see the other ideas listed below.
Weather is bad or you don’t have enough time to walk outside? Try 60 seconds of mindful breathing. Set a timer for just one minute, close your eyes or stare gently at a point in front of you, and simply observe your breath as it rises and falls. This may not seem like a “movement break,” but it works on the nervous system in much the same way.
Standing Crescent: Stand up with feet hip distance apart. Reach your hands overhead and clasp your right wrist with your left hand. Extend up through your right hand to the left into a gentle side stretch. Hold for a full round of breath, and then inhale as you reach back up.
Seated Twist: Plant your feet on the floor, sit upright and take a deep breath, twist to the right and hold for 3 full breaths. Inhale to unwind and then start over, moving to the opposite side.
Forward Fold: Sit in your chair, inhale fully and fold forward. Stay for a few breaths before grounding into your feet and sitting back up.
Walk outside on your lunch break
I know, it seems so simple. Just take a walk! But how often do we find ourselves so busy that we eat lunch at our desks, in front of a computer or other screen, or even skip lunch altogether. Setting an intention to go outside for just 5 minutes during lunch can be a great way to hit the reset button before an afternoon of work.
Have a teacher come to your office
Ask around your place of work to see if anyone would be interested in joining forces for a weekly yoga, pilates, or other class. Many yoga teachers would be happy to teach your group for an hour at lunch or after hours. And you never know, you might get lucky and find that there is actually a qualified yoga teacher already on staff in your office.