How to Improve Posture While Sitting At a Desk All Day Long
Many of us are spending long hours at the office, whether it is at a home office, or an outside office, doesn't matter. Point is we don't always pay much attention to our posture: whether or not we're sitting up straight, if our bodies are twisted in our seats, if we're all hunched over straining to see a computer screen, if lighting is less than optimal, if feet are flat on the floor, if hands and wrists are level with the keyboard. Believe me, we're all alike that way. It's just a bad habit. I want to make you aware of how poor posture can negatively affect your well being. I want to give you some useful tips on how to improve posture while attending to business as usual.
If poor posture has caused you to have lower and upper back pain, or shoulder and neck aches, headaches, or carpal tunnel, then the tips I'm about to share with you are coming just in time. Consistently putting this kind of stress on your body will have long term consequences, which can be avoided without very much effort. Not only that, who likes to be in pain? The study of ergonomics is all about keeping the body in proper alignment and in proper relationship to all the objects that come into contact with that body. Furnishings and everyday objects have been scientifically designed to assist humans in maintaining good posture. Much of the furniture designed to be ergonomic is also beautiful design, well constructed and functional. If you have ever owned one of these chairs, you'll know that the designer earned his/her own "golden" chair in heaven. Like you, I'm a workaholic, and my chair has made the world of difference to me.
How to improve posture: the following are ten tips to help you to keep your body in perfect alignment at your work station.
1. Sit straight in your chair with your back, and lower back firmly against the back of the chair. The chair is meant to give your back support while you are sitting. This is where a good ergonomically designed chair will help you to maintain correct posture, keeping you in a good relationship to your desk. Your muscles should be relaxed, nothing straining.
2. Your feet should be flat on the floor when you are sitting at your desk. Your bent legs should form a right angle to the floor. Don't twist your legs under you. Don't put your feet up on the desk either, though I admit, it's tempting.
3. Keep your chin slightly tucked in and your head straight.
4. Don't hunch over your keyboard.
5. Distribute your weight evenly in your chair. Don't lean to one side or the other.
6. Make sure your monitor is at eye level. You should be able to look directly across at your monitor, not up or down.
7. Make sure your wrists are aligned with your forearms. Carpal tunnel happens when there is constant strain on the wrists and hands. Remember, you can't play the violin with carpal tunnel. You can use an ergonomic wrist rest on your mouse pad to support your wrist.
8. When you turn from one direction to another, move your whole body in that direction, not just your head.
9. Use the armrests on your chair to support your arms and shoulders and adjust your keyboard to a comfortable level.
10. To reduce pressure on your lower back, lean back slightly. A well designed ergonomic chair will allow you to lean back, which relaxes your back muscles.
These are only some of the sound "ergonomic" habits to adopt. Observe these habits, and you will be rewarded with a PAIN FREE body at last! Remind yourself constantly of these simple rules on how to improve posture. Don't forget to get up at least once an hour and S-T-R-E-T-C-H!
- Joan Saloomey
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