As human-beings we all undertake three main actions on a day to day basis – walking, standing and sitting. The focus on my article is on the latter and on the three main benefits of sitting properly at work. I will also give you some very simple and easy to implement advice on how to sit properly. By the end of this blog post you should be able to change your posture at work for life!
We are all aware that at some point through the day (if not all the time!) we start slouching and leaning forward towards our computer and paperwork or even tilt and twist to one side on our chair. We all live busy lives and it is completely understandable that maintaining a good posture for the whole day can be difficult and something we can easily forget about.
However, if you sit properly (and I don’t mean upright!) then not only are you preventing potential problems, but you will also carry your “good posture” with you on the bus, on the train, in the car and even at home when you put your feet up and watch your favourite TV programme. So, it’s about developing a good habit and implementing it into everyday life.
“Good posture” will also help you avoid problems like back pain, muscle stiffness (which can be very painful) or even headaches and migraines.
Because if you sit with a bad posture (slouching or leaning to one side) then the muscles at the back of your body will stiffen up as they try to stop you from sitting badly. These muscles start in your lower back and travel all the way up to the back of your neck!
In no time your bad posture will start stopping you doing things you enjoy or activities you love like walking, running or exercising in general.
So here are the 3 main reasons why you should sit properly at work:
- Prevent back pain, muscle stiffness, headaches and migraines
- Develop a “good habit” which can then stay with you everywhere you go!
- Maintain a good well-being and be able to do the things you enjoy
How can I sit properly without slouching or leaning to one side?
The answer here is certainly to not “sit upright”!
The reason for this; when you sit upright you will put too much pressure on your lower back.
So now I am expecting a puzzled expression as you read, wondering what am I actually talking about…It’s true, sitting upright is not the answer.
First and foremost, look at your work station and tell me if it’s untidy, not so tidy or messy?
This does matter. Even if you are not the tidiest, try and make space so your laptop or screen are straight opposite your eyes. If not, you will lean to one side.
The second thing to look at is bringing the task you are working on (paperwork, keyboard, laptop) closer to you so your forearms and wrists can easily rest on the desk which will stop you from leaning forward and slouching to reach them.
Last, but not least, sit all the way back and do not leave a gap between yourself and the back of the chair as this will put all the muscles at the back of your body under stress!
So, let’s recap:
The 3 steps to sitting properly:
- Make enough space for your laptop and paperwork so they are straight in front of you
- Make sure the documents you are working on are close enough to you
- Make sure the whole of the back of your body is touching the chair
It’s simple, so easy, you could start to put this in to practice straight away. Start tomorrow nice and fresh and give yourself 5 minutes to follow these simple steps and save your posture forever!