12 Ways to Sit “Better” at Your Desk and Improve Your Posture
It’s pretty hard, if not impossible to avoid working at a desk. You might even be stuck there ALL DAY!
It comes as no surprise, sitting for prolonged period, day after day, week after week, has serious consequences on your health. Even with a well-balanced diet and regular exercise, you cannot reverse the side effects of excessive sitting.
In fact, studies have shown those with weak posture are more prone to cardiovascular and pulmonary issues.
One of the biggest concerns is the position of the neck and shoulders. While sitting and looking at your screen:
In effect, your heart has to work double time to pump blood into your collapsed chest, thus increasing the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular disorders.
Luckily, there are a few quick fixes to sit “better” and improve your posture:
Position your screen slightly higher than “normal.” The effect of an elevated screen will force you to sit up taller and straighter.
Avoid the urge to hunch, lean forward or round the back. A quick fix with big rewards!
Did you know, for every inch your head tilts forward, your spine must compensate by a margin of ?!
That’s a lot. And it only takes a second to push a bit too far and compromise your spine entirely.
To avoid the need to lean forward, keep everything in a reasonable arm’s reach; including your laptop, mouse, coffee, notepad, pens, etc.
If you begin to run out of space, consider a side table or supply closet, which will also force you to get up and move around, now and then.
Many people, especially women, have the habit of sitting with their legs crossed. However, doing so can cause misalignment in the spine, particularly when done so for a prolonged period.
Better to keep your feet planted on the ground or slightly propped up.
Setting yourself up for a productive day starts with how you sleep. Avoid sleeping on your stomach, as it flattens the spine and can cause a dangerous dip in the lower back.
The best positions are either on your back on side. If sleeping on your side, put a pillow between your legs to keep your hips and pelvis in good alignment.
You can also try a firmer mattress for more support, especially if you’re prone to spine, neck or joint discomfort.
Regular desk chairs are just so boring! Why not switch it up?
Check out these fun alternatives:
Stand up! Stretch! Move around!
It’s so important to keep regular blood flow and movement in the body– even when you’re busy being busy and find it hard to pause and slow down, try these easy suggestions for a quick break:
If your eyes have been glued to your laptop, tablet, mobile or TV, take a step back. Your eyes and brain need a break from the harsh light of a screen.
Get up and make a snack, step outside for some fresh air or simply complete a task which requires you to stand and move.
Have a quick question for a coworker? Get up and ask!
You’ll get your blood flowing, stretch your legs and can enjoy a nice chat!
If you can have a meeting without sitting in front of a computer, try a walking meeting.
It could be as simple as a quick turn around your office, or a stroll down the block.
Pump of the volume! Listen to your favorite song or that new album you’ve been dying to check out.
If you can, why not dance around a bit? Let loose for a few minutes and get lost in the music.
Schedule something during your lunch break: a haircut, nail appointment or a quick trip to the grocery store.
The change of scenery will do you good, and you’ll have the added benefit of checking something off your to-do list!
Try creating the consistent habit of working out in the morning. It will set a precedent for your workday and make you more prone to continued activity throughout the day.
Otherwise, sneak in an afternoon session or squeeze it into your lunch break.
If any of these slight changes feel uncomfortable or hard to adapt to, take it step by step. Simply checking in with your posture and reminding yourself to adjust will quickly turn into an unconscious habit.
Above all, remember your WHY for adjusting your sitting position: greater health and productivity!
Speaking of productivity, there’s a ton more, where that came from… check it out!
Image attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/workout-ball-pilates-fitness-gym-1931107/