by Scott Tousignant · Filed Under: home office fitness
In today’s blog post my friend Judy Kelly is going to share some simple tips that you can put into practice during your busy work day to help you improve your posture. Enjoy the guest post!
When you develop perfect posture, back pain can be reduced or eliminated.
Think about your job, which may require sitting for eight hours straight, and then your leisure time that you may spend in front of your computer, TV, or video game player. How much time do you think you spend sitting? Because 80% of Americans deal with back pain causing missed work, do you want to know what part sitting plus how you are sitting can determine whether you will be part of that 80%?
Remember when our moms said, “Sit up straight!”? Well, they were right; many of us are slouchers. We are all at the mercy of gravity and our spine will gradually be reshaped into whatever position we continuously sit. Body alignment is imperative for spinal health. In addition, the discs in your back compress the longer you sit partly because the water content of each disc declines. This can prompt the beginnings of a variety of disease states—not just back pain.
Fortunately, when you practice sitting rigidly, your comfort and mobility can be restored. You can actually realign your back. When working at your desk or even relaxing, it is important to put your seat back to an upright position and sit as far back into the seat as you can. This keeps your rib cage and trunk upright and your head aligned directly above your shoulders. Keeping your rib cage up will help to also keep your head and shoulders in the right position. Sitting on an exercise ball of the correct height certainly can help with promoting that habit naturally. Unless you have very strong “core” muscles, the ball should be interchanged with a good, high-end, ergonomically designed office chair.
Intermittent exercise throughout the day can help and even standing and other non-exercise activities help burn many calories in most adults. These are things like household chores and shopping. Some researchers believe that because only 28% of us are getting the minimal amount of recommended exercise, there will eventually be health campaigns with doctors suggesting limiting sitting time. Many actually already do by suggesting that desk workers get up and move about every two hours just like they suggest airplane passengers on long flights get up and move around at least every two hours.
So what can you do right now? First, sit up straight while you work in a sitting position. Then be sure to take breaks every couple of hours and walk around. Do a workstation analysis to check the height of your desk, chair, computer, and monitor. Your desk or at the very least your chair should be adjustable. Your chair should have good lumbar support.
The top of your monitor should be at or just below eye level. Your head and neck should be balanced and in line with your torso. Your shoulders should be relaxed and your elbows close to your body and supported. Your lower back needs lumbar support and your wrists and hands should be in line with your forearms. Your feet should remain flat on the floor.
Judy K Kelly