Get Your Posture Right at Work
Modern day sedentary lifestyle has given rise to major health concerns and an absolute lack of exercise. Considering that you spend a lot of time at your workplace, sitting glued before a computer, it is essential that you develop healthy postures to keep long term health problems at bay. Poor posture leads not only to a bad back but also influences your general disposition and perception of life. Here are some tips you should keep in mind while at work.
- Ears and Shoulder Line
Keep your ears in line with your shoulder. Slouching is a common phenomenon at work and you might notice you are slouching right now while reading this. This is a very hazardous way as it zaps your energy and takes away the excitement out of the workplace. If you find yourself leaning far backwards or forwards often, your posture will get messed up. Whenever you feel that you seem to be in a slumped position, consciously make sure your head is held straight up and your ears are in a straight line with your shoulders. This will help relieve the muscle tension that in held in knots near the shoulders.
When you are sitting for long hours on your desk, your muscles get cramped. It is necessary that your stretch out your hands, legs and your back every 1-2 hours as that keeps the blood circulation going. Do some common desk warm up exercises like wriggling your wrists and ankles or rotating your head. Small as they may be, these stretches have wondrous effects on the body, keeping ailments like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in check. It has also been found that stretching while indulging in a sedentary lifestyle helps to curb the symptoms of arthritis in old age and relieves geriatric joint pain. You can indulge in different variants of this stretching. For instance, you can hold your hands behind your back to avoid rounded shoulders. You can move your head and neck in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions.
A common stretching exercise you can indulge involves sitting in the front of your chair without touching your back on the backrest of the chair. Keeping your lower back straight, use your right hand and stretch it out towards the left side of your chair’s backrest and hold the chair. Repeat this position with your left hand as well. This simple exercise will help the neurons towards the side of the spine to awaken and get kicking, thereby making you more refreshed and active.
- Leg Position
The way in which you place your legs while you are working is crucial for your health. The perfect position involves sitting upright with your feet flat on the ground. Keeping them widely spread before you or crossing your feet are a strict no-no. Sometimes an odd chair or height difference makes it difficult to place your feet flat on the ground. In this situation, you can use office props to mount your feet above it, like a small stool, a box of books or a storage unit. Some desks have a bar attached to its base which makes it easier to prop your feet above it, in case of discomfort.
- Over-doing Upright Position
In an attempt to maintain a correct posture at work, some people overdo the sitting upright exercise. It is true that keeping your backbone straight is a preferable position, however, making your muscles rigid and sitting in that position for long periods of time could actually cause more harm than good. The neck and shoulder muscles get strained when we overcompensate by arching our back. You need to strike a convenient balance and find a position that is neutral and that allows you to relax without slouching like a bag of clothes. A neutral position will keep you comfortable and it will be easier to sustain for long periods of time.
- Right Sitting Posture
Experiment with your sitting posture on your chair. Place your buttocks at different sections of the chair cushion and see how these different positions feel. You might have to push your chair away from your desk for this. You can practice this small exercise to understand the difference between a straining posture and a comfortable one. Relax your lower back and hang your head low before you. Next, slowly arch your lower back, moving your shoulders forward and keeping your head upright above your shoulders. This small exercise will help you discern the neutral position that is best suited for you. You can then indulge in some relaxation exercises after you have attained that relaxing position.
- Relaxation Exercises
Breathing exercises are the simplest to perform in any given setting. Whenever you get the vibe that the stress of the job has got you swamped, you tend to hold your breath in for longer, as though carrying a physical burden. Deep breathing is a natural stress-reliever as it helps to let out all the stale, piled air and makes way for fresher and more calming air into your system. Sitting in front of your chair (back should not rest against the back of the seat) indulging in periodic deep inhales counting to 3 in your head. Follow this by exhaling slowly at a count of 6. Repeat this exercise a couple of times until you experience a deep state of calmness and solace. When you feel pent up, take a few minutes to yourself and rest your forehead on your desk. This helps to achieve a state of quietness and relaxation.
Practicing these simple activities, whilst being seated on your chair, could go a long way in keeping you focused and more productive at your workplace. Apart from that, it keeps your posture in check and makes sure your corporate responsibilities do not come in the way of having a healthy lifestyle.