Six Simple Ways to Improve Your Posture at Work
It should come as no surprise by now that sitting for prolonged periods of time is poor for our health. One of the many negative effects of sitting is a compromised posture. Poor posture can cause several obvious pains but has also been linked to feelings of depression, energy loss, and poor circulation. For many in today’s workforce, sitting for hours of the day is not only necessary, but a requirement of their profession, so getting up to move away and straighten up is not always easy. However, there are a few tricks you can use while sitting at your desk to help improve your posture. You can begin by not slouching to read this article.
Get Up and Move
The simplest and easiest way to improving your posture is just to get up and move as often as you can. Sitting for long periods of time just isn’t very good for the body. Your blood flows slower, abdominal muscles get weaker, bones get thinner due to inactivity and your life expectancy decreases. If you can't leave often, try to incorporate mini-walks into your daily schedule, getting up every hour or so. In addition, start taking the stairs, and take breaks to stand up and walk to bathrooms that are farther away. Integrating constant motion into your work routine also has an added benefit: it will improve your efficiency and concentration.
Keep Your Ears in Line With Your Shoulders
If you're leaning too far forward (slouching) or backward in your chair, your posture is off. Adjust your chair so that you are sitting upright with both feet on the floor and elbows are at a 90° angle with palms flat on desk or keyboard. If you use a computer monitor, have it raised to eye level.
Lift and Roll The Shoulders
A simple method to loosen up the shoulders is to perform a shoulder shrug by lifting both shoulders up to your ears (as if gesturing ‘I don’t know”) and down. To combat the effects of scapular protraction (shoulders rounding forward), roll both shoulders forward by lifting the shoulders up and moving them forward in a circular motion 10-15 times. Repeat in the opposite direction.
Keep Your Feet Flat
The correct way to sit in a chair requires you to place your feet flat on the ground. That means no crossing your legs or sticking them out in front of you. If making your feet completely flat is uncomfortable, prop your feet on something such as a small laptop stand or some old, thick books.
Use a Lumbar Support Pillow
A lumbar support pillow will do some of the work for you by supporting your spine. You'll be forced into the correct position every time you sit down. For a quick and cheap fix, use a folded or rolled-up towel.
Perform “Concealed” Desk Exercises
Simply can’t get away from the desk? Here are a few exercises you can perform while sitting at your desk.
• Sit upright, then lift your arms overhead, keeping your elbows straight. Interlace your fingers and bend slowly to the right side, then the left side.
• Cross your left leg over your right leg. Cross your body, placing your right arm over your left leg. Look over your left shoulder and slightly twist your body. Repeat this on the opposite side.
• Stretch out your left leg, pointing your toes forward. Then point your toes upward. Repeat this five times, then do it with the other leg.