4 Cool Things That Happened When I Did 'Legs-Up-The-Wall' At Work Every Day

Ditch the coffee break—five minutes of laying on your back with your legs against the wall can really make a difference to your working day.

February 16, 2017
legs up wall
Justin Case/ Getty

Lying on your back with your legs up against the wall is a pretty weird thing to do in your office, I admit. Left to my own devices, it’s not something I’d have ever thought to do at work, even though it is one of my favorite stress-relieving poses. But luckily I have coworkers who are runners. 

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About two months ago, my officemate was nursing a knee injury, and our coworker advised that she do legs-up-the-wall to relieve the tension. I decided to join in, because, well, do you need a reason to do something that isn’t work when you’re at work? And it really did feel fantastic. So we put a recurring “meeting” on our calendars for 4:00 PM to reap the benefits daily—here’s what happened. 

legs up wall
Karen Shimizu

It Released All The Tension In My Lower Back

Getting into legs-up-the-wall after a day of sitting felt like coming home. Like many office workers and commuters, I have a tense lower back and tight hips. (My cheap, lumpy mattress leftover from college days isn’t helping the situation, either.) When I’d first get into the pose, I’d get that hurts-but-in-an-amazing-way sensation in my back, but as the minutes ticked by I’d feel the muscles relax completely. After a month of doing the pose every day, my muscles were definitely less tight, and the initial stretch didn’t feel as deep. (These five gentle yoga poses that set your tight shoulders free are great for office workers, too.) 

It Helped Me Relax And Focus

The great thing about legs-up-the-wall pose is that it’s impossible to check your email while you’re in it. The physical sensation of the inversion is relaxing on it’s own, and I’d also make a point to leave my phone out of reach on my desk, so that I wouldn’t be tempted to check Instagram during my mental break. This gave a chance for my mind to clear and reset, helping me to get through the homestretch of the workday without losing steam. 


Related: 8 Plants That Boost Your Productivity  

I Bonded With My Coworkers

Legs-up-the-wall time was our version of the coffee break. Even though I see my officemate and other coworkers almost every day, we don’t always have a chance to catch up on what’s going on in our lives outside of work. But when you’re lying on your back staring at the ceiling, you can talk about literally anything—vacation, boyfriends, apartment hunting, whatever. And it seems to me that when you care about your coworkers, and when you take the time to mentally and physically recharge, then you’ll care more about the work you’re doing, too.  

I Made A Permanent Dirt Mark On The Wall (Oops)

Doing legs-up-the-wall pose in the same spot every day left a very obvious dirt mark on my office wall. This taught me two things: My shoes are way dirtier than I thought, and, therefore, my office carpet is a really gross place to lay down on my back. While the thought of all that dirt and bacteria coming into contact with my hair skeeved me out for a minute, I am luckily not that bothered by germs, so it wasn’t enough to disrupt my zen. If it had really bothered me, I could have brought in a yoga mat or towel—but C'est la vie, right? (But in case you were wondering, here are the 7 dirtiest things in your house.)