You’re slouching right now, aren’t you? Don’t worry, it’s something we all do. However, studies have shown that bad posture can increase feelings of depression, zap your energy and cut off your circulation. Couple that with sitting for long periods of time, and you’ve got a health hazard on your hands. Do you feel stiff and sore at the end of a long work day? Well, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, during the work week, many of us are confined to an office chair may not be as comfortable as we might like. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple steps that you can take toward improving your posture and staying more comfortable while you work.
Keep your feet flat on the floor. If you’re anything like me, you either cross your legs or you sit on them almost all the time. Well, I’m here to let you know that you should do as I say and not as I do! Crossing your legs and sitting on them is a great way to hinder proper blood flow, and that can actually lead to some pretty serious problems after multiple decades of leg crossing.
If keeping your feet flat on the ground isn’t very comfortable for you, then try using a footrest to prop them up.
Hold your head up high. Your head should be upright with your ears being parallel to your shoulders. Keeping your head tilted too far forward or backward can be a real pain in the neck! Keep the top of your monitors at the same height as your eyes to avoid hunching forward.
Support your lumbar region. Your lumbar region, otherwise known as the lower spine, has a slight curve to it, so be sure to keep it properly supported to hold that natural curve in its right place. This can be achieved via an office chair with adjustable lumbar support or with a lumbar support pillow which can be attached to your existing task chair.
Put your shoulders back. Your mother was right; you really should sit up straight. Putting your shoulders back so that your chest rolls up and out will prevent unwanted back pain after long hours spent at your computer desk!
Stay moving. Even if you don’t have access to a standing height desk, there are plenty of ways to stay moving while you work away at your computer. Try setting a silent alarm on your phone or laptop that reminds you to get up every 45 minutes or so. Once the alarm goes off, take a walk to the break room for a glass of water, take a stroll to the copier or just stand up and stretch for a couple minutes. It may seem simple, but it will do a world of good in the long run. If you aren’t able to step away from your desk, try doing some simple desk exercises such as calf raises or stretches.
Keeping your body moving and maintaining proper posture throughout each and every work day will leave you feeling more refreshed at the end of the week and will have some serious health benefits in the years to come. Do yourself a favor and don’t give in to the sedentary office lifestyle!