5 Things to Do at Your Desk to Improve Your Health

When was the last time you spent several hours staring into a screen participating in Zoom meetings or responding to email and texts?  I just finished six hours of such activities, but because I sprinkle the activities below throughout my screen time, it all feels more pleasant and manageable.  I hope you find these activities help you as well!

  1. Breathe

Breathing is the only bodily function that is both conscious and unconscious. You breathe whether you think about it or not. However, you can alter your breath and this ability to alter your breath lets you consciously control your stress response. For example, you can use deep breathing to induce a relaxed state, which may include feeling calm, a slowed heart rate, muscle tension release, and tranquil thoughts. It really works!

There are different types of “deep breathing” and many have their roots in ancient practices. Here are 3 evidence-based breathing techniques you can try.

  1. Stand

Sitting is the new smoking. Some studies have found that sitting for more than six hours a day can decrease your life by up to fifteen years as compared with individuals who sit for less than 3 hours a day. As a result, you may want to replace some of your sitting time with standing and see how you feel.  Here are some standing techniques you can try.  One readily available option is to alternate balancing on one foot, like the flamingo below.

  1. Move your spine in all 7 directions

The spine is a crucial part of the body. It allows us to stand up straight. There are seven ways to move the spine: frontward and backward, leaning to the left and right, twisting to the left and right, and extending upward from the ground.  We have 26 vertebrae and 18 muscles that are used to move the spine in all directions. Moving the spine in all 7 directions invigorates and resets us.  Here are 3 spine movement exercises you can try at your desk.

  1. Acupressure

Acupressure balances interrupted, blocked, excesses or deficiencies of energy through the use of pressure on specific points (known as acupuncture points) on the body. Disruptions in the flow of this energy result in an imbalance, or disharmony in the body and manifest as illness, pain, anxiety and other symptoms.  Pressing or massaging points on the body related to the symptom  can restore balance to the body, mind, and emotions.  Here  is an evidence-based acupressure practice you can try.

  1. Laugh!

Laughter involves the contraction of fifteen different facial muscles. The brain’s parietal region, amygdala, and cerebellum are all impacted by laughter.  Most importantly, during laughter, regions of the prefrontal cortex are activated, releasing endorphins, which are famous for decreasing pain and increasing euphoria. This Mayo Clinic article lists the full benefits of laughter. Laughter is a whole person workout:  mental, emotional, and physical. So it seems important to laugh every day, do you?

The Self-Care Solutions newsletter allows you to personalize your approach to health and wellbeing.  It offers you choices.  Safe choices.  Evidence-based choices. The articles allow you to try on different options and see what works for you. Think of each as an invitation. While not a substitute for care by your medical team, we’re here to support you in your quest for wellbeing!

Interested in Hero’s Journey Coaching?  Contact me at ruthannrusso@gmail.com or visit https://ruthannrusso.com/be-coached/

Reference links

The impact of sitting on health

Benefits of laughter





Dr. Ruthann Russo

I love assisting people on their hero’s journey towards self-transformation. A passion which is born comes partly from personal experience – I view my own life as a series of self-transformations. I have 20+ years of education, training and experience, including being the CEO and founder of two health technology start-ups and global wellness consultant to Fortune 100 corporations.

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