Whether you are working from home or in the office, does your day consist of sitting for long periods and developing uncomfortable back and neck pains? We have six ways you can improve your posture and be more comfortable at work.
1. Move at regular intervals
After long periods of sitting, you may find you have tight muscles, joint pain and upper body tension. The best way to counteract stiffness is to move regularly. The more times you can get up from your desk and stretch or walk, the better.
If you have the privilege of working in different locations, you could find a comfy place in a café or bar where you can stretch your legs and go for a stroll on your breaks.
2. Find a good neutral posture
This is a term that is used mostly in Pilates and yoga but finding a sound neutral point can be a good way to maintain a good posture at work.
Keep your shoulders low, back straight, use your core for stability, and make sure the lower lumbar curve in the bottom of your back is supported by the chair. If you do not have this support, try to find a chair that works for you and practise this posture.
3. Create an ergonomic workstation
Where possible, you should find items that aid comfort and improve posture. Many of these can prevent or slow down long-term issues. You can find products that help you find a neutral position and build better habits.
A popular option for this would be a sit/stand desk. Alternating between being stood and sitting can keep your joints loose, and by reducing your sitting time you can reduce these aches and pains.
A standing desk not only aids joints but can help with your risk of weight gain, as a study found that on average standers burn 50 more calories per hour.
4. Keep your feet flat on the floor when sitting
Your feet need to be flat on the floor and legs at 90 degrees, or on a footrest under your desk. You need to avoid crossing your legs as this will off-balance your pelvis and cause your posture to be angled. The straighter and more upright you are the better this will be for your posture and overall health.
5. Reduce hours or seek medical advice
If you have exhausted all options, you may need to think about reducing your hours or going to your doctor to find out about other options.
Some surgeries can improve posture-based injuries but these can come with risks and potentially result in life-changing consequences. You must make changes early to reduce the chance of more severe health implications occurring in the future.
6. Take up an activity such as Pilates and yoga
If you are stretching at work and combining activities such as yoga and Pilates, you should start to feel better in yourself – and your body will thank you.
You will find it easier to implement these learnings at work. Many tutors and classes consider your medical needs and are trained in providing the best movements for you.