According to research, the average person spends more that 1700 hours per year at work, and up to 5 hours a day watching television. I’m guessing your now feeling a tinge of guilt for binge watching a season of Grey’s Anatomy? Don’t worry, your not alone!
With the increase in advanced technology, more and more of our time is being spent in front of the computer, television and yes, our cell phones (Yes, Text Neck is a Thing!) Bad sitting habits can result in terrible posture, as well as back, neck and shoulder aches. It will also affect you in ways you may have not even thought of. Such as your mood, energy and self-image.
With this post, we hope to show you how to have good neutral posture (sitting or standing in a way that compliments the natural curvature of the body, minimizing the strain you put on your joints, and muscles. Lets face it; we’ve come to the realization that good posture can vastly improve your quality of life! Here’s how:
- JOINT PROTECTION: Properly sitting at your desk, or while watching your favorite television show can reduce wear and tear on your joints. With less strain on these important elements of your body, you vastly reduce the risk of developing arthritis later in life. If you are required to sit for long periods of time during your workday, we suggest sitting for a maximum of 50 minutes at a time. Try your best to get up and stand or take a short walk!
- ITS GOOD FOR YOUR BACK: Sitting or standing properly stops your spine from being fixed in an abnormal position. Adjusting your posture, and assuring you are sitting and standing in a good neutral position will help prevent chronic backache and muscle pain. Back to that ‘Text Neck” thing we mentioned! What we call a ‘forward head posture’ is leading to the issue of “Text Neck” causing constant and sometimes severe pain in the neck, upper back and shoulders. Did you know that the average adult head weighs approximately 10-12 pounds in the neutral position, and drastically increases to upwards of 60 pounds at a 60-degree angle. Therefore, while enjoying scrolling Pinterest and Instagram on your smartphone, do your best to keep yourself aligned in a neutral position, ears over shoulders!
- MORE ENERGY: When you are naturally putting less strain on the muscles, bones and ligaments of your body, you are using less energy. Therefore, having proper posture will result in a higher energy level, and brighter days ahead! For example, when you are sitting funny, with a foot under you, or cross-legged, after time you being to feel numbness, like feeling your foot is asleep, that is because blood flow to your limb has been limited, and circulation has been cut off. So, if you are sitting, or standing straight, with proper posture, your blood flow and circulation is increased! Oxygen levels are also an important factor, when you are slouched over, you are constricting the level of breath you are able to inhale, by approximately 30%, therefore when you sit straight, relaxed with shoulders back, you are enabling your body to inhale larger, more deep breaths, which will maximize your energy!
- FEELING AND LOOKING GOOD: In case you didn’t know, approximately 75% of communication is non-verbal. Your body language dictates how other people perceive you. When you sit properly, without being slouched over, it does wonders for your appearance! You look taller, slimmer, more confident and successful!
In order to help you ensure your aren’t ‘just sitting there’ we’ve put together a step by step list to protect your posture while sitting at your desk at work!
- FEET: Start by placing your feet flat on the floor, avoid crossing your ankles and tucking them under the seat of your chair (this makes you arch your back and contract your hip flexors!)
- LEGS: In order for your legs to be in the correct position, you want them to be at right angles, or directly out in front of you. If your feet cant reach the floor, be sure to rest your tootsies on a footstool!
- BUM: Scoot your bum all of the way into the seat of the chair, and use the back of the chair to help you sit up straight, doing this gives your back muscles a break!
- ARMS: Your arms should be bent at about 90-degrees, allowing the muscles around the elbows, and forearms to relax. Adjust your seat height to accommodate!
- PHONE: Holding the phone between your shoulder and ear overworks the muscles on one side, leading to muscular imbalance, try to avoid placing the phone in this position, or rock a headset when you talk and type!
- MONITOR: Prop your computer monitor on a stand or stack of books to keep it at eye level Looking down at the screen contracts the scalene muscle at the front of your neck.
- KEYBOARD & MOUSE: Push your keyboard and mouse away from you, so you can rest your arms on the desk, instead of relying on your shoulders and neck to hold them up!
In order to ensure you are your best self, start by looking at the way you sit, stand and hold your body upright! It is amazing what changing something as simple as the way you sit or stand can impact your daily life! We always want to make sure you are happy, healthy, confident and comfortable, with extra energy to boot!
Until Next Time….