Why how you sit matters
Good posture whilst sitting down matters. It is what most of us spend more of our time doing than anything else.
Sitting in the car, sitting for meals, sitting in front of the TV and most of all; sitting at our desks.
It somehow feels so passive. As if our bodies have to do very little to remain in that state.
But if you have bad posture, your body is actually working quite hard to counteract the unnecessary strains and tensions you are putting on it.
And as a result, what should be recreational time is often blighted by fighting off neck pain, headaches, and all too commonly, lower back pain.
We take a look at how you can reduce discomfort by adopting a healthy posture at work.
The keys to good posture at your desk
The most critical starting point is to make sure that your back, and in particular your lower back is properly supported.
The lower part of your back is known as the lumbar region and is made up of five vertebrae.
This region supports all of the weight in the upper body.
When should you be able to feel the small of your back in contact with the chair? If it is a modern, ergonomic chair and you are sitting upright.
However, some people do find it useful to use a small cushion or rolled-up towel to support the small of the back.
Next, you will need to make sure that your chair is at the right height. If it is, you’ll find that your upper arm is vertical and that your forearm is horizontal. Effectively your arms will be forming an ‘l-shape’.
It’s very important that your chair is relatively close to your desk so that you don’t find yourself over-reaching.
Position your keyboard and mouse about 4-6 inches from the front of your desk, and keep your wrists close to your body and fairly straight.
Make sure your feet are resting firmly on the floor. This will prevent you getting tightness from shortening your calf muscles and your Achilles’ tendons. But, more importantly, it will ensure you have a stable platform. If necessary, it’s ok to use a footrest.
In order to maintain the proper alignment of your head, make sure your screen is roughly level with your eyes. The head is heavy and puts enormous strain on your neck if it is bowed all day.
Extra tips for good posture
The body can easily get fatigued even when you are just sitting. In some office cultures (in Japan for example) they routinely get their employees to stand up and move for at least a minute each hour.
Regularly moving will help you avoid getting into a physical or emotional slump at your desk.
Finally, you have to make good posture a habit. You need visual or audible prompts (use an alarm on your smartphone if necessary) to regularly remind yourself to sit properly.
If you are suffering as a result of poor posture, please contact us.