Office spaces have become the new flat lay recently. If you’re not seeing photos of copper geometric thingamijigs sat next to a collection of £40 pens, a MacBook Pro with a Fliqlo time clearly in shot haphazardly laying among papers with endless doodles and brainstorms (not forgetting those pink peonies in a vintage milk bottle!!) all on top of a bright white desk in a bright white room and a bright white chair, with framed brush pen quotes such as #GirlBoss, ‘Enjoy the Little Things’ and ‘Hello Lover’ decking the bright white wall, with a giant mood board propped against the grey wooden, weatherbeaten floor featuring fashion shoots from Vogue and Elle, of course, then it’s possible you’re living under a rock.
Whether you choose to fit in with the rest and design a stark space for writing, or take a page out of my book and blog on the sofa with cats flanking either side of my laptop trying to inch closer to the heat source as American Dad! plays once again over and over again is of course the joy of being a blogger.
But back pain is not a joy of being a blogger. So when Furniture at Work asked me to think about how I stay flexible when I’m blogging, whether I’m flying, on a train or just sitting in the sunshine having a writing sesh.
News just in: I don’t think about it. I have to consciously stretch my back every now and then else I know I’m going to end up with a wicked curved hump when I’m older. So, given my terrible posture and lack of back care, they suggested I try some office yoga stretches for a week to see if I noticed a difference. Apparently it’ll help me focus on the task, as well as keep my spine straight. So. How did I get on?
Task 1: Chair Cat Cow Stretch
How? Arch your back, belly out, look up and inhale. Hold. Curve forward, roll shoulders forward, look downwards.
This was easy. Except for the niggling pain in my right lower back. I started to wonder if I was doing it wrong but after trying again and consulting YouTube, I was right. Perhaps it’s the first sign of back issues. Great. One I need to carry on.
Task 2: Chair Raised Hands
How? Lift arms up, inhale, bring them down, exhale.
Another simple one and success! No pain. After a week of doing these I’ve noticed I don’t get that niggling shoulder pain in the dominant hand when typing.
Task 3: Chair Eagle Pose
How? Cross left thigh over right thigh and tuck your left foot behind your left calf. Bring arms into a 90 degree pose and lift elbows while dropping shoulders.
I’ll be honest, this is how I sit most of the time, so I was glad I’m doing my legs and back some good. I think my issue is the upper side of my body.
Task 4: Chair Spinal Twist
How? Feet on the ground, twist torso as far as possible without moving hips.
I loved this one! I couldn’t move the full 45 degrees (when did I get so inflexible?) but my spine really appreciated the full stretch. It was almost like a sense of relief. Like popping bubble wrap, this exercise is one I’ll carry on long-term.
Task 5: Seated double hamstring
How? Outstretch legs. Grab a cardigan and hook around soles. Pull and stretch.
I found this a little but pointless in a chair and preferred to downward dog it. Not one I’ll bother with again, plus now I need a new cardi.
After a week of yoga poses (especially following my surgery) I’m feeling way better when I’m working. Given my student life which is soon impending, it’s going to be vital. So I think I’ll carry on with a few stretches. Bloggers, your desk might be pretty and the envy of all others. But don’t let it break your back.