Wellness

6 Yoga Poses For Anyone Who Sits At A Desk All Day

You may have heard the expression "sitting is the new smoking."

That's because too much sitting is associated with higher heart attack, metabolic syndrome, obesity and type 2 diabetes risk as well as earlier overall death. But for anyone with a desk job, sitting all day is hard to avoid.

There are some mitigating actions you can take. Frequent strolls throughout the day and using a standing or treadmill desk are good options for lessening the longterm damage of too much sitting. But in the short term, yoga is a great way to undo some of the daily aches and pains associated with logging those office hours at a desk.

Here are 6 yoga poses for anyone who sits at a desk all day:

1. Wrist Stretches
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Typing all day can do a number on your wrists, so give them a break with this gentle stretch.

Start on all fours with your finger tips pointing forward, then rotate your right wrist so that it's pointing forward and your fingertips are pointing back. Do the same thing with the left wrist, hold for a breath and then repeat. If you're feeling really ambitious, incorporate cat-cow poses by dropping your belly and arching your back as you rotate your wrists.

2. Downward Dog
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Sitting all day often leads to hunching all day, so open up your back -- and your hamstrings, which strengthen your back -- with downward dog.

Start on all fours, tuck your toes, lift your hips and bring your heels toward the ground. Hold for five breaths.

3. Pigeon Pose
(Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post)
The more we sit, the tighter our hips get, and pigeon pose is one the best hip openers out there.

Starting from downward dog, lift your right leg up to downward dog split, then swing it through so your shin is parallel with the front of your mat. Crawl your fingertips back, make sure your hips are squared off, then bring your palms forward and rest your forehead on the mat. If your hip is too high off the ground, try tucking a blanket or block underneath it. Hold for five breaths, then repeat on the left side.

4. Ankle-To-Knee
(Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post)
Take your hip stretch one step further by sitting upright and stacking one leg over the other, bringing your right ankle on top of your left knee. If your hips feel really open in this position, crawl your fingertips forward to deepen the stretch. Hold for three breaths, then repeat on the opposite side.
5. Knee-To-Knee
(Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post)

Knee-to-knee is another hip opener as well as a great iliotibial (IT) band stretch.

Start seated upright, then stack your right knee on top of your left one. Again, if you feel really open here, go ahead and crawl your fingertips forward to deepen the stretch. Hold for three breaths, then repeat on the opposite side.

6. Thread The Needle
(Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post)

Hunching over all day can lead to shoulder tightness, so get more mobility in your shoulders with this shoulder opener.

Starting on all fours, thread your right arm underneath your left arm until your shoulder is resting on the ground and hold for three breaths. Make your way back to all fours and repeat on the opposite side.

Yoga instructor Tracye Warfield, right, participates in a yoga class in Times Square during the 13th annual Solstice in Times Square, Sunday, June 21, 2015, in New York. Warfield was one of several thousand who practiced yoga during six different classes held throughout the day to mark the summer solstice. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Tihar jail inmates participating in an event to mark first International Day of Yoga on June 21, 2015 in New Delhi, India. An estimated 40,000 people participated in the celebrations at Rajpath, with around two billion people taking part across the world. The yoga celebrations are being organised after the United Nations had in December last year declared June 21 as International Yoga Day. (Photo by Ajay Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center front, lies down on a mat as he performs yoga along with thousands of Indians on Rajpath, in New Delhi, India, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Millions of yoga enthusiasts are bending their bodies in complex postures across India as they take part in a mass yoga program to mark the first International Yoga Day.(AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Traditional wrestlers take part in a Yoga workshop after their daily wrestling classes, on June 20, 2015 in New Delhi, India. On June 21, as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's International Yoga Day initiative, 45,000 people are expected to set a world record as they practice asanas or positions on the lawns of India Gate. Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev demonstrated a package of Yogic Asanas that keeps people healthy and helps them lead a medicine-free life. In the national capital, 37,000 pink, blue and other coloured mats will make for a pretty backdrop on Rajpath as participants bend and stretch for the 35-minute event. (Ajay Aggarwal/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Israelis perform Yoga during the International Yoga Day in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Thousands of yoga enthusiasts took part in mass yoga programs to mark the first International Yoga Day throughout the world. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)
Chinese people take part in a mass yoga session to mark the first International Day of Yoga at Qishan lake on June 21, 2015 in Xingtai, China. (ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)
Hundreds of people attend a yoga session on the square at the foot of the Eiffel Tower on June 21, 2015 in Paris, France. 192 countries join in for a mass yoga session to mark the first International Yoga Day. (Frederic Stevens/Getty Images)
Naga Sadhu (Naked holy man) perform yoga to the villagers on first world yoga day at Dhaulpur. Naga Sadhus are a particular group of Shaivite saints who reside in the Himalayan Caves and come to visit the civilization only during the Kumbh Mela, but this time Naga Rajiv Giri who belongs from Juna akahara take responsibility to aware the villagers for yoga on first world yoga day. (Shashi Sharma/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Afghan students perform yoga during the first International Yoga Day, at a private school in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Thousands of yoga enthusiasts took part in mass yoga programs to mark the first International Yoga Day throughout the world. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
Yoga enthusiasts perform yoga during International Day of Yoga in Colombo, Sri Lanka on June 21, 2015, in a yoga session to mark the first International Yoga Day. (LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)
Indians perform yoga on Rajpath, in New Delhi, India, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Millions of yoga enthusiasts are bending their bodies in complex postures across India as they take part in a mass yoga program to mark the first International Yoga Day. (AP Photo/ Manish Swarup)
Two women take part in a mass yoga session to mark the first International Day of Yoga at a park on June 21, 2015 in Huai An, China. (ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)
Indians perform yoga at an event to celebrate the International Yoga Day in Bangalore, India, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Millions of yoga enthusiasts are bending their bodies in complex postures across India as they take part in a mass yoga program to mark the first International Yoga Day. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
People do yoga in Times Square as part of the International Day of Yoga celebration on the Summer Solstice June 21, 2015 in New York City. 192 countries joined in for a mass yoga session to mark the United Nations declared, International Yoga Day. (Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
Chinese perform yoga under the instructions of Indian yoga teachers at a hotel banquet hall to mark the International Yoga Day, in Changping District, on the outskirts of Beijing, China, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Yoga enthusiasts bent and twisted their bodies in complex postures across India and much of the world on Sunday to mark the first International Yoga Day. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Hundreds of people perform yoga to mark the International Day of Yoga in downtown Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Millions of yoga enthusiasts bent and twisted their bodies in complex postures across India and much of the world on Sunday to mark the first International Yoga Day. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Chinese perform yoga under the instructions of Indian yoga teachers at a hotel banquet hall to mark the International Yoga Day, in Changping District, on the outskirts of Beijing, China, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Millions of yoga enthusiasts bent and twisted their bodies in complex postures across India and much of the world on Sunday to mark the first International Yoga Day. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
International Yoga Day in Brussels, June 21 was declared as the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 2014. (Jonathan Raa/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Hundreds of people attend a yoga session on the square at the foot of the Eiffel Tower on June 21, 2015 in Paris, France. 192 countries join in for a mass yoga session to mark the first International Yoga Day. (Frederic Stevens/Getty Images)
Kashmiri school children perform Yoga on the occasion of the first International Day of Yoga on June 21, 2015 in Jammu, India. An estimated 40,000 people participated in the celebrations at Rajpath, with around two billion people taking part across the world. The yoga celebrations are being organised after the United Nations had in December last year declared June 21 as International Yoga Day. (Waseem Andrabi/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
People do yoga in Times Square as part of the International Day of Yoga celebration on the Summer Solstice June 21, 2015 in New York City. 192 countries joined in for a mass yoga session to mark the United Nations declared, International Yoga Day. (Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
Students take part in a mass yoga session to mark the first International Day of Yoga at Peking University on June 21, 2015 in Beijing, China. (ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)
Yoga enthusiasts take part in a mass yoga session to mark International Yoga Day in Nairobi on June 21, 2015. (SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian NCC Cadets (National Cadet Corps) perform yoga on the banks of the river Ganga in the Jhusi area, at Kriyayoga Ashram in Allahabad on June 21, 2015. The first International Yoga Day is being celebrated on June 21, 2015. (Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images)
Chinese perform yoga at a hotel banquet hall to mark the International Yoga Day, in Changping District, on the outskirts of Beijing, China, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Yoga enthusiasts bent and twisted their bodies in complex postures across India and much of the world on Sunday to mark the first International Yoga Day. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Kashmiri students perform yoga as they mark International Yoga Day in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Millions of yoga enthusiasts across the world bent and twisted their bodies in complex postures Sunday to mark International Yoga Day. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)