Daily Archives: June 30, 2008

Fix Your Quasimodo Slouch: Tips for Correcting Poor Posture at Work

We’ve been taught the importance of good posture since we were little, but how many people actually took that information to heart? According to a study released by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, back pain is the most common cause of work-related disabilities in the United States. The study also shows that back pain is the leading reason for job absenteeism. More workers than ever before are spending long hours behind a desk and on a computer. Strains from poor posture while working will cause little aches and pains here and there, and over time, they add up to serious problems.

To help you correct your posture and dramatically improve the way your back feels at the end of a day in the office, try these tips below.

Adjust your monitor
Almost all problems with posture begin with tension around your neck and head. Begin by correcting your posture at the top, or all other methods will be ineffective. Try sitting down comfortably at your desk in a relaxed position with your eyes closed. Turn toward your computer screen, and then open your eyes. Where your eyes land is the ideal position for the center of your computer screen, because this position is the most natural, so adjust your screen accordingly.

Kick back at work
“Sit up straight.” Many have heard this admonition growing up, but as it turns out, your parents may have been giving out bad advice. A recent study by the Radiological Society of North America shows that the best position for your back is actually a reclined 135 degree position, not an upright 90 degree position. The reclined position calls for both feet to be planted on the floor with a relaxed 135 degree recline to remove pressure from the spinal disks in the lower back.

Don’t get stuck
To avoid being in one position all day and cause your muscles to stagnate, take quick breaks to adjust yourself and stretch. Try changing how you sit for certain tasks. For example, sit back in a relaxed position when you’re reading, but sit up toward the front of your seat when you’re writing. Lean back from your computer to adjust your neck around regularly to help prevent tension build up. Also, it’s good to stand up periodically while you work.

Keep your feet planted
When sitting behind your desk, keep your feet flat on the floor with your knees slightly apart. By sitting with one leg under you or crossing your legs, you are twisting your spine, and putting pressure on your knees and hips. Doing so will give you bad posture, compress your lower back and cause aches and pain in your body.

You can prevent back pain and injury and good posture is one of your best defenses.

Are you conscious of your posture at work? Are aches and pains causing you more trouble than before? Try these simple adjustments today, and see if you notice the difference.