Best Tips for Posture While at Work
Maintaining the right posture is vital to having healthy overall well being. Not only does this avoid body pains, but this also makes us healthier and more productive.
Unfortunately, many fail to maintain the right posture due to wrong habits such as staring too much at computers, sitting with the wrong position on office chairs, or prolonged standing.
What’s worse is that poor posture can be second nature if nothing is done to correct it. It can even aggravate neck and back pain or ultimately damage your spine. Good thing that the main factors affecting one’s posture aren’t that difficult to change.
The following tips are proven to be effective in improving your posture, especially those who work in an office and sits on an office chair throughout the day.
Determine the factors that cause body pain
Body pains are usually the result of improper posture and poor ergonomics. This is the common case if pain becomes worse at specific times of the day.
If back or neck pain intensifies after a long day at the office, but not on the weekends, then that’s a clear sign that there is something wrong with your posture at the office.
This usually happens with those who experience neck pains, where the pain moves downward to their lower back and extremities.
Pain that goes away after changing positions or back pain that starts whenever you sit on your new office chair is also other signs that you need to change something with your working environment.
By determining the root causes, you’re able to make the right steps towards improving your proper posture. It might not be that much, but it’s a good start.
Maintain proper body alignment.
Your body should be aligned as much as possible. This means that your body should maintain a straight posture. For example, if you’re standing, your body weight should be evenly distributed to the back, front, and sides of your feet.
Take advantage of your office chair’s features. Sit up straight and place your arms on the armrest. If you’re always slouching, try not to lean back or recline on your chair even if you sit straight. This way, you’re less likely to slouch when you feel tired.
Also make it a habit to shift position every now and then because maintaining a prolonged sitting position is tiring, even if it’s proper. Alternate sitting back and moving to the edge of your seat every 30 to 45 minutes. This relaxes your back muscles.
You can also try sitting on a balance ball to help you maintain a naturally balanced posture. This rocks your pelvis gently which in turn increases your lumbar curve. Avoid unbalanced postures while sitting.
Examples of these are crossing your legs, hunching your shoulders, tilting your head, or leaning to one side.
Stand up and move.
Extra pressure is placed on your back and neck as your muscle begins to tire. This usually results in slumping and slouching. Change positions regularly to avoid these from happening. It also helps you maintain a relaxed, but properly supported posture.
Take a break from sitting on your office chair every 30 minutes. Spend around two to five minutes to stand, walk, and stretch. Also, use a posture-friendly office chair when working. One that has an ergonomic design is what you need.
An example of an ergonomic chair is one that has a curved backrest that takes the shape of your back. You can also get one that has adjustable back support. This reduces the pressure from your spine and lessens the chances of you getting back pains.
You can also add a portable lumbar back support or footrest while sitting on an office chair. Using backpacks and purses that are specifically designed to minimize back strain can also help you maintain the right posture.
Wear corrective eyewear and properly position your computer screen to rest eye position to avoid straining your neck or leaning too far back.
Exercising might be a bit off topic but exercising regularly helps promote good posture and prevent injuries. Even light exercises such as brisk walking, cycling, jogging, or swimming, can condition the body and make it less likely of getting strained easily.
Specific strength exercises such as weightlifting, and pushups also help back muscles stay strong. All these promote good posture, and in the process, condition your body and help prevent injuries from happening.
Also, do exercises that balance your back muscles and core muscles to maintain good posture. Examples of these are cross-training and curl-ups.
Wear proper footwear.
If you’re a woman and working in the office, chances are, you’re wearing high heels. While they look good and stylish, they aren’t recommended if you want to maintain proper posture.
Wearing high-heeled shoes negatively impacts the center of gravity of your body. High heels also increase the chances of your body getting misaligned because your back doesn’t get enough support.
If you’re standing at the office for long periods of time, it’s recommended that you wear supportive shoe orthotics or place one foot up on an elevated platform. And remember not to slouch or tilt your head to only one side.
Maintain good posture while moving.
Holding a phone, lifting heavy objects, or simply walking, are all moving activities which need to be done in proper posture. Maintain good posture while in motion to avoid injuries and pains on your back and neck.
If you’re working on a blue-collared job, you’re most likely to always lift heavy materials. Back injuries are common when doing such activities as you are likely to do awkward movements when lifting or twisting.
However, you can avoid sustaining injuries if you follow correct posture as you gain sufficient control of your entire body.
Ergonomics is very important if you want to maintain proper body posture at work. Though it requires you to spend a bit of cash, it’s totally worth it because your body benefits from it.
Personalize your workspace, car, or even home. You can do this by getting an ergonomically designed chair at work; one that has a proper backrest and can be reclined easily. Your computer screen shouldn’t also be too bright or emit much radiation.
LED monitors are recommended because their lighting levels are modulated. Get a neck rest and back support pillow for your car so that you can still maintain proper body posture even if you’re still driving to the office or on your way back home.
It’s less time consuming and much easier for you to correct your body posture, compared to having to go to the doctor to deal with possible debilitating pain conditions you might experience as a result of improper posture.
Avoid overdoing proper posture
While it’s important to maintain proper posture at all times, it’ not recommended that you abruptly shift to it. It’s still important to maintain a relaxed posture. Don’t restrict your movements or posture too much that you clench your muscles too tightly.
Having an unnatural posture stiffens up your muscles, which can then, cause pain to your body later on. Relax every now and then. Sit back and recline your chair if you feel that your back is already aching after an hour of sitting straight and not slouching.
Individuals who have back, and neck pain has a natural tendency to limit their movement and maintain proper posture. However, limiting one’s movement or staying in just one posture for hours at end will stiffen up your muscles and cause further pain on them.
Your spine is designed for movements and not moving it over a long period of time will create more pain. Proper body posture isn’t earned overnight. Don’t abruptly change your posture as it will only worsen your situation
All the tips mentioned in this article are proven effective by experts and individuals who experienced body pains, especially with their back and neck. However, if pain persists even if you’ve followed the tips, the best thing to do is to seek the help of a chiropractor.
Not only can they help ease your back and neck pains, but they can also help you have an overall healthy body. Chiropractors align your spine and ensure that your bones, muscles, and joints are functioning at its best. These chiropractors are also medical professionals who are experts in the field.