Chances are you’re sitting as you read this. Most of us now live our days seated but every time you remain seated for long hours, shoulders slouching and back stooped in front of a screen, your body is secretly hoping to go for a walk. Naturally so, because movement corrects the body’s posture and ensures proper blood circulation. Inactivity is a problem and it can lead to many health scares. 

The sitting epidemic

Our bodies are a work of art. They are designed to go beyond existing limits to feel amazed and beautiful. They should not be ill-treated by being inactive or rarely using its flexibility.  

Studies say that long periods of sitting is associated with cardiovascular diseases, fatigue, and diabetes. If this isn’t enough to get you going, it’s time you learn that sitting for long hours can also lead to mental imbalance. There’s not only a risk of anxiety and depression but also dementia.

Start with a stretch

Whether or not we can completely reverse or undo the damage done by sitting for long hours is unclear but small steps, regular exercise and physical activity will benefit the body and mind in the long run. 

Even the smallest and simplest changes in your daily routine can make a difference. For instance, when you are sitting in the office or sitting in front of the TV for long hours, getting up to drink water or a herbal tea can be highly helpful. You can also take the stairs often, it works as a good cardio exercise. 

There’s no substitute, however, for physical exercise, beginning with stretching. 

The importance of stretching is often underplayed. The tension in the muscles throughout the body can be successfully relieved through accurate and active stretches. The human body is created in reflection of all the movement that is possible for a person. 

  1. Start with neck rotation and nods. It can move stagnant energy and tension.
  2. Then try shoulder rotations and shoulder shrugs.
  3. Let’s move on to slow and gentle wrist rotations, clockwise and then anticlockwise. Now stretch your wrist with the help of the other hand. Hold it for a few seconds. This can relieve the strain long-term work causes on your hands.
  4. Now the spine. Stretching the spine is vital, as a good spine stretch can rejuvenate and stimulate blood circulation throughout the body. 
  5. You can stretch your legs by lifting them so that they are parallel to the ground
  6. Other desk asanas such as the seated crescent moon pose, chair pigeon pose, desk plank pose or desk upward dog pose, too, can help. 

A final point of caution

While trying to reverse the physical damage of sitting, don’t forget your mind. Meditation can help here as it goes a long way in improving concentration and calming the mind. The objective of being physically fit cannot be met until you’re mentally energised. 

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  • Sarvesh Shashi

    Founder, SARVA

    The 26-year old Sarvesh Shashi co-founded Sarva along with his Guruji, India's Happiest Chain of Yoga studios in 2013 when he was just 21 years of age. His love for yoga combined with his entrepreneurial genes gave birth to Sarva. Sarva thrives on the principle of using yoga, mindfulness and beyond as the tool with which to empower people to lead happier and healthier lives. A charismatic speaker with an entrepreneurial spirit, Sarvesh has shared his story and revelations at conferences like the INK conference, TEDx, UN’s Youth Changemakers Conclave and has been featured on CNBC, Bloomberg TV and BTVi. Sarvesh was named India's Youngest CEO in the Health and Wellness Sector by Bloomberg and was named by Better Homes & Gardens as one of the Top 10 people in India to watch out for. A conservatively modern thought leader, buoyant performer and a constant source of joy, Sarvesh at 26 is a force to reckon with.