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  • Writer's pictureBara Vaida

Moves for neck and back pain

Updated: Jan 17, 2023


(Illustration by Cha Pornea for NPR


This past week marked a personal milestone for me. Combining my skills as a health journalist with my yoga teaching has been a goal for awhile and I finally achieved that effort with my recent story published on NPR’s website.


The piece focuses on how movement can help relieve and prevent neck and back pain after spending too much time sitting. The story includes some specific examples of movements you can do at your desk.


In this video, I highlight two of these moves, each of which can be done just for 30 seconds. Do one of them or both of them, but to have benefit, you’ll want to repeat doing them multiple times throughout the day. Try setting a timer for every hour and take a minute or two to move! Research shows that even small movements have real benefit. If you try them, let me know how they work for you.



The five desk and chair-based movements highlighted in my story were developed by fitness specialists at NASA, where lots of people sit for long periods of time in stressful situations.


Science shows movement works to reduce pain because it hydrates muscles and joints that become ‘sticky’ with lack of movement. A growing body of exercise research is also showing that short bursts of movement, whether practicing a few yoga poses or running in place, can have huge health benefits.


If you liked these brief movements and you have a little bit more time in your day, consider joining me for a mid-day, 30-minute yoga break on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We will practice some of the moves from the NASA program, as well as some traditional yoga poses to relieve tension and energize you for the rest of your day. The mid-day classes are open to all levels.

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