Did you know that most people sit an average of 13 hours a day? This includes sitting at work, for meals and while commuting. Then add a few hours more for sitting while watching TV, playing video games, lounging (like reading a book) and using the computer at home. That’s several more hours of sitting than sleeping!
No wonder the way you sit is one of the leading causes of poor posture. A hunched back, strained neck and tense shoulders all contribute to unhealthy postural muscles. If you start to feel tightness in your body, like your neck or shoulders, that means the muscles are being overloaded - a sure sign that you’re not sitting correctly.
Here are some tips to keep in mind while sitting at your desk at work.
1. Stand up often enough. The only times you probably get to stand up is when you have lunch or go get a coffee or maybe go on a bathroom break. And that’s probably just once or twice a day for a few minutes. What you should do is every half hour, have a quick stretch or take a short walk around the area. It’s important to ensure that you’re constantly changing positions all throughout the day and moving around.
2. Keep your feet flat on the ground. If your knees are slightly higher than your hips while you sit all day, a lot of pressure is put in your hip joints and can compress them too tightly. Your feet should be at least at a ninety-degree angle or more from your hips so your knees should be the same height as your hips or slightly lower. You can buy a footrest to prop up your feet properly to make sure your knees are at the right angle.
3. Sit all the way back in your chair. Make sure your butt reaches the back end of your seat when you sit down. If your seat is too low, sitting back towards the end of the chair will leave your legs hanging. Always make sure to have two or three-finger width from the edge of the seat to the back of your knee while you’re seated.
4. Don’t sit too far from your desk. Keyboards are usually placed at the edge of the desk. Then you sit a little far from it which makes you lean forward as you read the screen. Once you slouch forward, your head is pushed forward and downward, so you push your neck muscles to hold your head up and look at your screen. Your forearms should be supported by the desk. Do away with armrests if they prevent you from sitting closer to your desk.
5. Keep shoulders back. Are your shoulders all the way up to your ears while you are seated? Your shoulder blades, which are the flat, triangular-shaped bones on your upper back, must be positioned lower to help support your head and neck. Also, if your shoulders are in the forwarding of your hips, adjust your trunk backward. If you want to improve your posture make sure your shoulders are always vertically aligned with your hips.
Always keep these good posture tips in mind, at the office or wherever else you might find yourself seated.
Or you could also use a posture corrector that does the adjustment of your body for you. You can wear it under your office attire and let it do the work, so you can focus on yours.