We spend a lot of our time at work, with most full-time jobs still requiring at least 40 hours of scheduled work time each week. Most jobs require either sitting at a desk or standing on your feet for the entire time, with few jobs balancing the two well. This leads to serious physical damage if employees are not proactive about maintaining musculoskeletal health during the day (or night).
Good Posture Encourages Good Overall Health
We all know that long-term poor posture can lead to painful back and neck issues, but that’s not all. If the chance of waking up every day with an aching back isn’t enough to make you want to straighten up, we bet some of these surprise symptoms will!
Researchers at Harvard University have determined that poor posture can also lead to:
- Slow digestion
Now that you know the potential consequences, are you ready to learn how to improve your posture while at work? In this post, we’ll go over our top tips for improving your posture while at work:
When you’re already in the habit of poor posture, it’s hard to train yourself to become conscious of it and make changes. However, with all our advancements in technology, creating reminders for yourself are now just as easy as telling your phone what you want. Set a recurring reminder for yourself to check your posture. You may want to set it to remind you every 5-10 minutes at first, but as time goes on and you become more aware of your posture, you can space those reminders out more and more. Pretty soon, you won’t even need the reminders and you’ll be practicing great posture independently.
Don’t Hunch Over Your Desk
It’s no secret that Americans spend more time sitting now than ever before. We have adapted to be able to do every part of our lives while seated. While this seems more comfortable at first, all that sitting can lead to some serious physical consequences.
Combine too much sitting with also hunching over to write or view a computer monitor, and you’ve got a proven recipe for a terrible posture.
Instead, practice good ergonomics at work by always sitting straight up in your desk chair with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent at a 90° angle. Your neck should be straight as if you have an invisible string connecting the top of your head to your lower back that you must keep straight. Keep your wrists as straight as possible when typing.
Also, consider how external factors are influencing your posture. If your desk chair is old and worn out, preventing you from assuming proper posture while seated, then request a new chair from management or bring in your own. If vision problems are causing you to hunch over in an effort to see better, schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist to get your eyes examined.
Braces Help When Standing for Long Periods of Time
If your job requires you to be on your feet all day long, your poor posture is more likely coming from muscle fatigue. Using an appropriate brace to support your musculoskeletal system during long periods of exertion is a great way to reduce fatigue and improve posture. We typically suggest a supportive back brace that extends from the underarms down to the top of the hips.
Take Plenty of Breaks
Whether you’re sitting or standing, your muscles need to move around frequently so that they do not cramp, spasm or begin creating adhesions that require medical care to treat. As often as you are allowed (preferably every 30 minutes or so), take a break from what you are doing and reposition. If you’ve been sitting at a desk, stand up and take a quick 5-minute walk. If you’ve been standing, go have a seat and elevate your feet above your hips to promote good circulation and reduce any swelling.
Make Healthy Choices
One healthy choice tends to lead to another, so practice good health choices in other parts of your life as well. Maybe trade out that soda for a reusable water bottle while at work, or opt for a salad at lunch instead of chicken tenders. Even one healthy choice can lead to big changes in how you feel while at work, improving your productivity and giving you the motivation to make even more improvements.
Get Healthy Living Advice from the Experts
If you live in or around Wesley Chapel and want to make moves to improve your overall health and well-being, make your next call to Florida Injury & Wellness Center. We can evaluate your current condition and lifestyle to make realistic recommendations on how you can improve your physical, mental, and emotional health while at work and home. Good posture might just be your jumping-off point toward a healthier life, and we would love to be there to assist you on that journey. Schedule an appointment online to get started today!