Relieve stress with desk yoga

19 August 2021

Sitting in front of your computer for hours can be draining. Taking a few minutes to do some stretches can keep you alert, increase productivity, relieve stress and make you feel refreshed!

Lady doing yoga

Stretch breaks are especially important when you’ve been sat in one position for a prolonged period of time. Stretching is quick, easy and has some amazing benefits, which include giving you an energy boost, increasing blood flow, improving posture and aids in the release of endorphins, leaving you feeling great!

Try to set aside a few minutes each day to take some deep breaths, clear your mind, and stretch with these yoga poses.

1. Neck rolls

Close your eyes. Let your chin drop down to your chest. Begin to circle your neck slowly, taking the right ear to the right shoulder, the head back, and then the left ear to the left shoulder. Try to keep the shoulders relaxed and don’t hurry through any areas of tightness that you come across. Take 3-5 rolls and then switch directions and take another 3-5 rolls.

2. Cat-cow stretch

Bring both feet flat on the floor and your hands onto your knees. Take a deep breath in and arch your back and look up towards the ceiling. Breathe out and round the spine, letting your head drop forward. Repeat for 3-5 breaths.

3. Seated spinal twist

Turn so you are sitting sideways in your chair. Bring both feet flat on the floor, knees bent. Inhale and lengthen your spine towards the ceiling. Breathe out and twist towards the back of the chair, holding the chair with both hands. Hold for a few breaths, moving deeper into the twist with every exhalation. Turn the chair the other way and repeat on the other side.

4. Standing wrist stretch

Stand up. Turn your hands so that the insides of your wrists face your computer and your fingers face the edge of the desk. Lean away from your desk with your arms straight while flattening your palms as much as possible. Stop if you feel pain.

5. Finger stretches

Extend the arms to the sides or overhead and draw 5 to 10 circles inward and outward through the wrists. Next, quickly spread the fingers and close the fists, repeating this 5 to 10 times to shake off any excess tension.

By Care First

Care first provide support to students out of hours and when UCL is closed, full information and contact details are available on the Student Support and Wellbeing website.

Updated by Student Support and Wellbeing, August 2021