Posture in the office
If you are primarily desk-bound in your work, correct posture and alignment is essential to prevent work related pain and injuries. Most of us get a little lazy with our posture at some point. You can expect some serious health problems, aches and pains if you adopt a poor sitting position for long periods of time, day in and day out.
Poor sitting posture can lead to:
- Lower back pain
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Interscapular and thoracic pain and stiffness
- Shoulder pain and muscular tension
- Wrist, forearm and elbow pain
- Lumbar disc bulging and irritation
A good sitting posture
- Chair height should be so that your upper legs are parallel to floor (or knees slightly lower than your hips).
- Both feet should be flat on the floor.
- Push your hips into the back of the chair.
- Ensure your chair supports your upper and lower back (use support cushions if required).
- Relax your forearms on the table to keep weight off your shoulders. Use armrests on your chair if required.
- Pull up close to your keyboard, placing it directly in front of you. Adjust your keyboard tilt to achieve a straight wrist position.
- Your screen should be directly in front of you.
- The top of your screen should be little above your seated eye level, at least an arm’s length away. Use a monitor stand if required.
- If text is too small at this distance, use your computer’s settings to increase display resolution or magnification (as opposed to moving the screen close to your face).
- Screen (and your desk) should be positioned to reduce glare from windows and other ligh sources. Use curtains or blinds if required.
- Keep your telephone within easy reach. Use a headset if you are regularly on the phone.
- Take 1-2 minute short breaks away from your desk every 30 minutes to stretch. Take longer breaks or change tasks every hour. Get away from your computer during lunch break.
- Give your eyes a rest. Look away in the distance during your short breaks.
Finally, how can you exercise and be active in the office?
Try standing at a high table or counter while working or answering the phone.
Walk and talk
Many people use their cell phones for business calls. Those frequent calls can provide a good reason to walk while conducting your business. Better still, walk out of the building and into the fresh air. You will feel energised when you return.
Take the stairs
You know this one already, but if you have to speak to someone on another floor, don’t call them or send an e-mail. Go and speak to them in person. Who says you can’t work and socialise at the same time?
What’s in your drawer? Not chocolate, but fitness bands, squeeze balls, small weights. While reading that report, pull something out and work it.
Office workers acquire a lot of tension in their necks and backs from hours of sitting. There are many stretching exercises you can do as frequently as you like.
These are just a few ideas. You may be able to come up with some of your own and pretty could soon be cancelling your gym membership. Make an appointment with us to discuss other ideas, especially if you have on-going aches and pains from sitting down all day.
Do not be shy to stretch your body in front of others. In fact, you can take action and be the first to motivate your co-workers to be more active in the work environment. They may like your initiative and everyone will benefit from that!