Too Much Sitting? Six Tips to Improve Posture at Work
Many people find themselves sitting for long periods of time. This can be detrimental to your body's alignment and over all health. Let's look into a couple of suggestions to improve posture and help you get through a typical day of sitting.
Improve Posture 30 Minutes at a Time
The body was meant to move....so move. Every half hour to hour get up and walk around. Do a little stretching. I know, I know, you have too much to get done, you have a dead line to meet. In Stephen Covey's book, "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" one of his habits is "sharpening the saw". He talks about how important it is to stop and sharpen your saw when trying to cut down a large tree. The time you spend sharpening the saw will be made up in productivity versus using a dull saw. The same concept is true for you if you sit for hours straight without moving. Your stiffness, discomfort or even pain will interfere with your productivity. If you have a hard time remembering to move, or tend to get caught up in your work and realize you're massaging your neck or back, or you now have a headache, try putting a reminder on your screen saver, or set a timer. Then every time you see the message scroll across your screen or the timer goes off....MOVE.
6 Minutes, 6 Steps to Improve Posture
Next take a few minutes to review these six points of posture while sitting.
- Start at your feet and assess your feet and legs. Are they curled under you? Do you have more weight on one leg than the other? Find a comfortable natural position attempting to have both feet comfortably on the floor with knees bent at 90 degrees and hips at 90 degrees. (The 90/90 position)
- Now focus on your pelvis. The sit bones (the bones we sit on) should have your weight equally distributed on them. Shift your weight side to side or tilt forward and backward to find a comfortable balanced position.
- Shift your attention up to the trunk and spine. Imagine that you have a string attached from the ceiling to the top of your head, holding you in a relaxed upright posture.
- Rest your arms by your sides and bend the elbows to 90 degrees. Relax your shoulders and slide your shoulder blades down your back creating as much space as possible between the top of your shoulder and your ear without straining the body.
- Think about the relationship between your neck and head. Your chin should be parallel with the ground or your desk top.
- The final area to focus on is your face. This may seem strange but most people's faces show stress while sitting. Relax your eyes. Let your jaw relax by separating the teeth just slightly and letting the tip of the tongue rest lightly behind the upper front teeth. Your teeth should never be touching except when chewing or swallowing. Otherwise you are clenching your muscles causing neck and face tension. Lips together, teeth apart.
Sometimes it is helpful to sit on a ball or to have a balance disk as a cushion to allow you to sit properly. If you attempt these suggestions and find it uncomfortable or impossible to maintain, then your body may be out of alignment and compensating or you may need specific exercises to strengthen your core posture muscles.
Schedule a Free Exam to Help Improve Your Posture
Call Natural Horizons today at 877-292-1571 to schedule a complimentary exam. A free consultation is your first step to maintaining comfort and improving health, even while you sit.