Keeping a healthy posture throughout an 8 hour or longer work day is not easy. Every desk worker starts slouching at some point, but many maintain a bad posture throughout most of the day. This can have a significant adverse effect on the worker’s health. Decreased energy, feelings of depression and impeded circulation are all common consequences of bad posture.
If you sit down at work most of the day, it is important that you attempt to be aware of your posture as often as possible and correct it whenever you find yourself slouching.
Below are 7 tips to help you improve your posture at work.
Align Your Ears With Your Shoulders
Good posture means aligning your head and neck centered over your torso. An easy trick to accomplish this is by making sure your ears are in a straight line with your shoulders.
Put Your Feet on the Floor
Sitting crosslegged or with one leg sticking out makes it very difficult or even impossible to maintain a proper posture. Try to put your feet flat on the floor or if this is too uncomfortable, propped up with some old books or any other prop.
Draw Back Your Shoulders
A healthy posture is not possible when your shoulders are rounded. Pulling your shoulders back and down pushes your chest up and forward, helping avoid developing rounded shoulders.
Get Away From Your Chair as Often as Possible
Bad posture is unavoidable when sitting down for extended periods of time. Not only will your posture suffer from spending too much time sitting, but your muscle activity also significantly decreases, metabolism slows down and blood flows slower. Your chances of heart disease, diabetes and cancer also go up significantly when sitting for 6 hours or more per day, leading to an increased all-cause mortality.
Take short walking breaks as often as possible to get your blood flowing, activate muscles and correct your posture.
There are a number of easy exercises you can do while sitting at your desk that will help improve your posture. Search YouTube for “desk yoga” or “desk exercises” to find some videos of short desk workouts you can incorporate into your workday.
There are several posture correcting shirts and bras on the market that provide posture support and stimulate correct alignment of the torso.
Improve Your Office Ergonomics
To avoid the dangers of sitting down all day, a standing desk is a great solution. Even better is an adjustable desk that allows you to switch between standing and sitting at work throughout the day. If your employer doesn’t allow the budget for this however, you may want to ask for a more ergonomic chair, or buy one yourself. A lumbar support pillow can also help in improving your sitting posture.
Your body has to last your entire lifetime so take care of it best as you can. Compromising your posture every single day, 5 days a week or more will wreak havoc on your body in the long term, even if you don’t experience any negative consequences just yet.