Doing this one 3-minute stretch after your workday will save your back

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Sitting at your desk all day doesn’t sound back-breaking, but it is. When you stand up, you realize how sore you are and wonder, ‘how can that be?’ All you did was sit, right?

Here’s why. Think about how you sit. Do you pay attention to your posture? If not, then the chances are that you slouch or lean forward to see the screen or otherwise compromise your body so you can accommodate your work.

It should be the other way around, but we’re human and creatures of habit. If you haven’t figured out how to have great posture while sitting at your desk, you need this 3-minute yoga program that will save you hours of back pain when you get home.

The 3-minute yoga practice

You can do this entire practice sitting at your desk. All it takes is 30 seconds for each pose, and you’ll leave work feeling like a million bucks.

1. Seated Body Fold

Fold your body forward, with your shoulders pointed toward the opposite wall, bend at your hips as far as you can go.

You’ll stretch your back and your hips. Hold the position for a few seconds and repeat. Work your way up to holding the position for 30 seconds.

2. Side Stretch

Sit with a straight posture and slowly stretch your body to the right, bending at the hips and stretching your obliques.

Hold for 15 seconds and then stretch to the left, holding for 15 seconds. Don’t push yourself. If you can’t go too far, only go as far as is comfortable and work your way up to more flexibility.

3. Modified Lotus

Cross your arms in front of your body with one arm over the other in the crook of your elbow. Use the weight of your own arm to push against the other arm. It should stretch your shoulders and triceps. Keep both forearms facing up when you do this for the best stretch.

4. Stretch up

Sit with your back straight and your arms at your side. Slowly lift your arms above your head and as high as you can.

You should feel the stretch up and down your back and hip muscles. Hold the stretch as long as you can, repeating for 30 seconds.

5. Lotus Position

Sit with your legs in a lotus (Indian style) position on your chair. Keep your posture straight and your hands on the top of your knees (palms up).

Gently push against your knees and feel the stretch. Hold for 15 seconds and then switch legs, placing the other leg on top.

6. Leg Lifts

Stay seated in your chair. Lift one leg with a bent knee straight up. Your leg should be at a 90-degree angle.

Now lift the opposite arm, holding it straight out in front of you. Hold the pose for 15 seconds and then switch legs and arms for the other side.

Breathe deeply and focused throughout the 3 minutes, and watch how relaxed and stretched you feel afterward.

You can do this in the middle of your day (if you have your own cube or office) or at the end of the day before you climb into your car and make the long commute home.