I posted about yoga the other day on twitter and wanted to share with you some ways I stay mobile and flexible with my desk job at work and the time I spend at home writing.

Setup

If all I do is sit slumped at my desk at work for eight hours and then come home and pound away on my laptop, no amount of stretching is going to prevent neck pain.  When I started NaNoWriMo, the laptop proved especially problematic.

Here was my solution for writing at home:

desk1

Note the ergonomic mat for standing.  The desk also cranks down so I can sit.

I know not everybody can get a stand-up desk like this one, but there are some homemade designs you might try.  I used this cat-approved rig until the desk came in:

img_8406

Whatever you do, stand or sit, be mindful of your posture.  I can make my hip hurt in less than five minutes if I let myself stand unbalanced.  Also note that if you’re used to sitting, standing for the entirety of an eight-hour shift may cause pain as well.

Movement

So if both sitting and standing can cause pain, what do I do?  Move.  I try to get up and move around at least every half an hour.  My computer throws up a pop up window to remind me.  This resets my posture and allows me to switch between sitting and standing after some stretching.

Most of us could stand to move more in general anyway.  There are all sorts of ways to get your exercise in, and although I’m no expert my thought is you should pick the one you’ll actually do.  That’s right – don’t pick the method identified by Google.  Pick the one that you will actually do every day.  One can even simply walk into Mordor.

Stretching / Mobility

I try to do some yoga every day, or at least stretch in between tasks at work.  It is easy, free, and doesn’t take any athletic talent.  That’s good for me!

If you need some help in this department, check out ROMWOD.  Every day they post a different 15-20 minutes of yoga instruction, with 45 minutes on Thursday.  Don’t panic because it is in a CrossFit gym and they talk about CrossFit.  I did CrossFit for four years and ROMWOD is not a high-intensity interval workout.  You don’t need to do CrossFit to play. It is relaxing, easy, and how I learned most of the stretches I know now.

Consider looking ta Deskbound by Kelly Starrett.  This includes stretches and mobility tools for desk jockeys like us, as well as ideas for how to be ergonomic while pounding away on the next bestseller.

Cats

I didn’t realize how important they were to my overall flexibility until Aragorn helped me stretch. Here he cuddled with my hood while I was in seated forward fold. That’s over twelve pounds of assistance!

Okay, your mileage may vary with this one. But it does ramp up the cute factor.

Questions for You!
What do you do to stay healthy?
Do your pets assist?

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