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How To Undo The Damage Of Sitting At Your Desk All Day

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    Your office job isn't doing your body any favors, and we're not just talking about the dangers of sitting for hours on end. The uncomfortable chair, combined with hunching over your computer, creates serious tension hot spots.

    Plus, all that sitting weakens your core and hips, explains Jill Miller, creator of the Yoga Tune Up method and author of the just-released book, The Roll Model: A Step-by-Step Guide to Erase Pain, Improve Mobility, and Live Better In Your Body.

    The easy remedy for desk dwellers? Stretch often, and try simple self-massage techniques. This helps combat tightness, correct your posture, improve mobility, and ward off chronic pain. Miller put together a few of her favorite moves — some of which are inconspicuous enough to do right at your desk. Some, however, you might want to save for when you get home. (We tried them all at our office and got zero side-eye from our colleagues; in fact, they wanted to join in.)

    So, if your company isn't investing in standing desks just yet, here are nine fixes for your most common "office body" aches.


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    Wrist Release
    This move reverses the grip of your wrists and forearms on the keyboard and mouse.

    Place both palms on a flat surface (the floor, a table, or a chair).

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    Now, flip your hands so that your thumbs are on the outside and your pinkies are on the inside. Adjust the pressure and angle so that your palms are fully in contact with the surface. Exaggerate the spread of your fingers, and attempt to migrate your forearms and elbows toward your body to increase the stretch. Hold for 10 breaths.

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    Warrior 3 With A Desk
    This move tones the back of the body and spine — it forces you to work against gravity rather than collapsing into it (as you do all day while seated at a desk).

    Stand facing your desk or the back of a stable office chair.

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    Now, place your straight arms flat on your desk. Stiffen your core muscles tightly to prevent your spine from arching or rounding, and bend forward at your hips so that the left foot stays rooted on the floor and the right leg reaches behind you. Keep your hands pressing onto the desktop, and hold the position without shifting for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.

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    Shoulder Flossing
    This move helps tone and stretch the muscles of your rotator cuff, and it helps lubricate the shoulder joint. It's a great way to release tension and stress.

    Start by holding a stretching strap (or you can substitute a yoga strap, hand towel, or scarf) with one end in each hand. Reach the strap overhead. Keep your shoulders rolled down and away from your ears.