How to Improve Your Posture at Work
Our long-lost ancestors worked the ‘slumped shoulder’ strut for close access to the ground when it came to dinner time. But it’s been millions of years since we lit fires and straightened up.
So why do we still slouch? The medical explanation is that we slouch because the muscles that work to hold our joints in place are imbalanced. Leaving imbalanced muscles aside, we also slouch because we’ve become zombies, who sit slumped over while staring at the TV or other screens for hours on end. And that’s not including all the slouching we do sitting in rush hour traffic or in our offices.
Our hectic lifestyles have also contributed to our poor posture. Bad sleeping habits, work and home life stress, and a poor choice of footwear can also be blamed for a Quasimodo-like appearance. Slouching can cause all sorts of havoc on our bodies, triggering headaches, back pain, and problems with digestion and breathing.
So, if you’re googling ‘how to improve posture’, or simply want to improve your posture and your health, we’ve got great news. Improving your posture is possible with just a few simple tricks.
What is Correct Posture?
Before we can fix poor posture, we’ve got to understand what good posture is. Posture is how you hold your body when you sit, stand, or lie down. Having good posture comes from training your body so when you sit, lie, or stand it places minimal to no strain on the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your back.
To find your correct posture, sit with your back and shoulders straight. Your buttocks should touch the back of the chair. Your back should have three normal curves when sitting in correct posture. Take a deep breath, pulling into the back of your chair and hold for a few seconds. As you release slightly, your body should come forward about 10 degrees.
Now, bend your knees at a right angle. You should keep your knees even with or slightly higher than your hips. Don’t cross your legs. Keep your feet flat on the floor, or slightly elevated with a footrest or stool. This is a good sitting posture.
If you’re not entirely sure if you have good posture or not, there are always ways to check. To ensure you have proper posture while you sit, you’ll need to keep your shoulders back, open your chest and make your back straight and tall. To keep your shoulders back, you need to move your shoulders back and push your chest out. You should feel your head move back as well. This should open up your chest and tuck in your abdomen muscles.
Don’t feel shy about discussing the benefits of improving your posture with your employer. Posture should be in everyone’s best interest allowing you to become a healthier and happier employee.
Adjust Your Work-space
Next time you catch yourself hunched over your desk at work, take a moment to sit back, relax and straighten your back. If you’re sitting too far away from your desk or computer, pull your chair closer or move your computer monitor nearer to you on your desk. Check your chair is high enough to fit your desk and you might find it helpful to ask for a footrest for your legs.
Ensure you have plenty of breaks to stretch when sitting for many hours. Try not to sit in the same position for more than 30 minutes. Frequent break-taking is essential for a healthy back, but beyond posture, it’s important for your eyes and your general well-being. Like all habits, learning how to improve your posture isn’t going to be a quick fix. It takes a conscious effort to catch yourself slouching and then learning to correct your back.
Good Posture is Attainable
It might seem overwhelming to think about trying a bunch of new things all at once to fix your posture. If you feel overwhelmed, start with one or two little ones. Slowly add more into your routine, and eventually, you’ll find yourself sitting with good posture naturally, without thinking about it. Having good posture in the office can help reduce back pain. Sitting correctly can make a big difference to how you feel throughout the day.
If you feel like you’ve tried everything and are looking for more ways to help improve your posture at work, try the Upright Go 2. This little posture trainer can help fine tune your posture and have you sitting straight in no time!