Top 10 Tips for Sitting At Work
So, your back and neck hurt constantly. You’re sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen all day at work and you don’t have any pain relief until you are up and moving. What could be the cause?
A prime suspect might be your workplace ergonomics.
Defined as the observation and study of people in their workplace environment, ergonomics can be improved by practising techniques designed to break up repetitive moves and decrease the wear and tear on our bodies.
Some habits that can be implemented into an everyday office routine include:
changing up your tasks when possible
adjusting the position of your desk items, and
finding your natural posture
If you are working at a job where you are required to sit all day, there are some things you can do to give your body a break.
Here are our top ten tips for those who are stuck in a chair all day:
1. Make sure you have proper back support.
Many chairs are built to have proper lumbar support. If you don’t have one of these chairs, you can place a small pillow or a rolled up jacket between your lower back and the chair.
2. Adjust your chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor and your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Keeping the feet in this position helps to keep your pelvis balanced and helps to properly distribute pressure throughout the body. If necessary, you may consider getting a footrest to achieve the desired 90 degree angle at your knees.
3. Avoid crossing your legs.
Sitting with crossed legs for a prolonged period of time can decrease your blood flow through your body. It can also cause posture-related problems.Keeping your legs positioned at 90 degrees is highly recommended.
4. Adjust your armrests so that your arms can rest gently and your shoulders are relaxed.
When you’re typing, your arms should be resting at your sides with your elbows bent at 90 degrees. If your chair has armrests that do not allow this angle of support, you might consider removing them to avoid unfavourable arm positioning.
5. Sit close to your desk with only a small gap between your stomach and the desk.
Sitting close to your desk will allow you to maintain the proper arm positioning and back support mentioned above. Check in with your body throughout the day to make sure you are not leaning forward.
6. Keep your mouse close to your keyboard.
Stretching to reach your mouse constantly can cause repetitive muscle strain and fatigue. While you’re using your mouse, avoid bending the wrist at awkward angles—your wrist should be straight and your upper arm should be resting by your side.
Investing in a monitor stand will do wonders for your neck. It’s important to avoid bending your neck as this can get extremely uncomfortable and strain the muscles in your neck and shoulders.
8. Keep your essential desk items within arm’s reach.
The more you can avoid stretching and twisting to reach for items, the better. Stand up when reaching anything that can’t be comfortably reached while sitting.
9. Pay attention to your breathing habits.
If you can train your body to take deep breaths from your belly rather than shallow breaths from your chest, you will relieve your entire body from pressure. Once it becomes a habit, diaphragmatic breathing is an excellent way to relax your body without having to think twice about it.
10. Take frequent standing breaks.
Get up from your desk and move as often as you can. Your body will benefit more from frequent short breaks than a few long ones. Incorporate some squats, lunges, and/or calf raises into your breaks for the biggest benefit; however, your body will still thank you for simply getting up and moving around.
By adopting these habits, you should find that sitting at your desk all day does not take as much of a physical toll on your body. It can be difficult to implement these all at once, so it might be a good idea to focus on one or two at a time. With consistency, your habits will start to change and you should feel a difference in no time!
If you would like to book an appointment for your back pain with any of our talented chiropractors at Harmony Chiropractic and Wellness Clinic in Kelowna, you can do so here: