We all know that slouching isn’t good for us but like many habits, it’s hard to break!
If you’ve tried to correct bad posture and failed, you aren’t alone. Many of us start the working week with good intentions to sit up straight with our shoulders back, but are hunching over our computer by mid morning.
How to Improve Posture
If you’re an office worker, you’ll know how many hours you spend sitting and how easy it is to assume a poor posture in your chair. Here are a few tips to help stop the slouch and sit up straight.
Use an Ergonomic Chair
One of the main reasons people slouch while sitting at their desk is they don’t have a quality ergonomic chair or it’s not adjusted to their body. An ergonomic chair is more likely to keep your hips, shoulders and spine aligned, so you don’t sit in a position that places strain on your body. Ergonomic chairs are fully adjustable so the back of the chair supports the small of your back.
When sitting at your desk, your feet should be flat on the floor so your waist and knees are at a 90 degree angle. If your feet don’t reach the floor, use an ergonomic adjustable footrest which encourages you to sit back in your chair and keep your upper body straight.
If your laptop screen isn’t at the right height, you’re more likely to suffer from neck pain. Laptop users naturally slouch to look down at the screen. It’s particularly important to use a laptop riser to lift the height of your laptop. Also, check the distance. If your laptop is too far away, you're more likely to lean forward to see the screen causing stress to your neck.
Even after adjusting your chair, it may not be enough to completely support your lower back. A lumbar roll or back support can give your lower back the additional support it needs to maintain good posture.
What you Need at Easy Reach
Rather than stretching in an awkward position across your desk or shelves above your shoulders, keep items you use regularly at close reach.
Alternate Your Position
A height adjustable sit stand desk is one way to relieve stress on your muscles and joints. Alternating between sitting and standing throughout the day allows you to stretch out your body and take the weight off your legs while you sit. For more information, see our Standing Desk Buyers Guide Part 1 here.
If you find it hard to remember to move between the sitting and standing positions, set a timer. Even if you sit all day, a timer can be useful as a reminder to check your posture or to get up and walk around.
Do Some Exercises
Stretching and exercising can build lean muscle that helps support good posture. Try these exercises for improving your posture.
Work the core muscles which include your abdominals and muscles that surround the pelvis and lower back. Strong core muscles make it easier to maintain good posture. Remember to keep your core muscles tight and your back straight while in the plank position. Hold for 20-30 seconds and build up the time as you become stronger.
When you feel tension in your back and neck, the child pose can help relieve it. You’ll feel a stretch through your spine, hamstrings and glute muscles.
Start on all fours then drop your hips down to your feet while walking your hands out in front of you. Place your face close to the floor and breathe deeply while holding the pose for 2 minutes.
Reasons Why You Shouldn't Slouch!
Just in case you need reminding why you shouldn’t slouch your way through the work day.
Reduced Back Pain
A bad back is a common complaint for many older Australians. Decades of poor posture can take its toll on the back. But good posture means you’re putting the least possible tension on your spine and discs.
Improved Breathing and Circulation
When you sit and stand with a good posture, your lungs work more efficiently and you can breathe easier. Blood flow and circulation is also improved with good posture.
Reduced Neck Pain
Poor posture can lead to a stiff neck and tension headaches. The right posture can take away the neck pain.
Less Risk of Falls
Posture is particularly important in your later years. As we age, hunching of the back can occur more easily if it has endured a lifetime of poor posture. Good posture also improves balance which can help you avoid slips and falls later in life.
If you’re looking for ergonomic equipment
to assist with your posture, call Ergolink on (08) 9240 7066 or contact us online