5 WAYS TO IMPROVE POSTURE AT YOUR DESK
Sitting at a desk all day is the norm for this working generation. Add to that poor posture, which easily becomes second nature when sitting for prolonged periods of time, and you can cause current episodes of back and neck pain. If you are affected by this, the main thing to know is that body posture and ergonomics are within your own ability to control, and there are relatively easy changes you can make to improve your posture.
Here are some tips to improving your posture while working at a desk, from adjusting your workspace to doing some simple stretches.
1. Neutral Posture
Neutral posture is when your posture is as per the spine’s natural alignment - completely straight from head to toe. When this alignment is compromised by sitting in a slouched, hunched or different manner, it causes spinal compression, nerve pinching and muscular tension.
Neutral posture can be achieved by keeping your computer’s monitor at eye level so that your head is straight and doesn’t tilt, your shoulders and back are flat and completely touching the chair, your feet are flat on the ground with your knees at 90 degrees to the chair’s seat and no crossing of ankles or legs. Use lumbar support to keep your back straight and prevent slouching.
2. Track your pain
To prevent spine problems, you must be aware of your daily wellbeing. Monitor symptoms like stiffness, aches and sores in your back, shoulders and neck. Track these symptoms daily and identify the pattern contributing to your pain. Change your routine accordingly. With adequate tracking, you will observe that there are certain aggravating factors that increase your pain, or certain times of the day when you feel most aches. This observation can help tweak your routine and improve your posture to consciously prevent backpain.
3. Take breaks
All work and no play makes everyone dull! One of the main reasons desk work is related with back pain is because it limits the amount of movement and activity required for good health. Regular movements and physical activity every 30 minutes is necessary to reduce health risks posed by sitting. To reduce the health risks associated with sitting too long, make time for scheduled breaks and perform some stretching exercises at your desk itself. A brisk walk around the room can help you improve your blood circulation.
4. Use Ergonomic Furniture
Maintaining the neutral posture at work can be tough, and poor posture habits that have been engrained into us make it hard to retrain and remain in the correct alignment. There are ergonomic chairs and other supports available which encourage neutral posture and help maintain your alignment to the T. An ergonomic workstation fits every person’s unique body type thereby adjusting to your work desk and posture adequately.
5. Stretch, Stretch, Stretch!
While you’re in your workflow, it can get very difficult to snap out of it for a quick stretch. Set reminders on your phone to make stretching a habit. Cultivate healthy habits of stretching at your desk every 30 minutes and taking a walk around your work floor every 1-1.5 hours.
Gentle flow yoga is a class designed to keep you fit and relax stiff muscles. Gentle flow yoga is a curated sequence of poses with various transformations that your body literally flows through the entire class. It helps relieve your stress and tension while keeping your mind calm, so you get to experience a deep sense of relaxation along with benefiting physical and mental fitness.
Check out these how to guides to getting a quick stretch of the muscles at your desk, whether you’re at the office or home office, these will help you get moving in the right ways after sitting down for a long time.