Do you have an achy back after working all day? Or maybe your hands feel a bit numb? The cause could be the way you sit at work. Good posture is incredibly important to avoid long-term damage to your body.
According to the Los Angeles Times, sitting isn’t good for humans.
“Prolonged sitting is not what nature intended for us,” says Dr. Camelia Davtyan, clinical professor of medicine and director of women’s health at the UCLA Comprehensive Health Program.
Essentially, humans started as hunter-gatherers, usually on the move. Sitting exerts forces on our bodies that they aren’t built for, especially sitting for an eight-hour workday. When comparing individuals who spent the majority of their time sitting with those who spent the least time, researchers found increases in the risks of diabetes (112%), cardiovascular events (147%), death from cardiovascular causes (90%) and death from all causes (49%).
However, this doesn’t mean that all hope is lost! There are a few things you can do to improve your posture at work and reduce the negative impact of sitting. Let’s dig in.
- Align, align, align!
The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to your posture? Aligning your body! You want to sit up straight, and make sure your ears, shoulders, and hips are aligned vertically. You want to avoid anything that distributes weight unevenly, like sitting with your legs crossed or your shoulders hunched.
- Get up and move!
Oddly, one of the most important sitting posture tips we can give is to sit less in general. A standing desk is great for this, as is getting up and moving every once in a while. This can be everything from a quick stretch break to a walk around the office or parking lot. Like we said before, humans aren’t really built for prolonged sitting, so taking a break can really relax the strain sitting takes on your body.
- Embrace ergonomics!
Ideally, you want to control your sitting environment as much as possible. Instead of using a standard office chair, try to get ahold of an ergonomic office chair, preferably with adjustable back support. You can also use a portable lumbar back support, or even a small towel or pillow. A mousepad with a wrist rest can be invaluable for reducing wrist strain. If you’re not sure what proper ergonomics looks like, this video should help.
When it comes to protecting your posture, just being aware of what good posture is can be incredibly helpful. Try to do a “ body check-in” every hour or so to make sure everything is aligned.
Do you have any trouble maintaining good posture at work? Let us know in the comments section below!