7 Effective Tips to Improve Posture While Working a Sedentary Job
In the digital age, many of us work from home or in an office environment. These positions can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, with many hours hunched over a computer. While your risk for an acute injury in these jobs is low, it is still vital to consider your orthopedic health. Poor posture and prolonged sitting can also lead to health issues and potential injuries. Below, we share seven tips to improve your posture while working a sedentary job.
Set yourself up for success and create the optimal healthy workspace. Ensure your desk is in the optimal position and reduce the risk of straining yourself due to an improper posture. Adjust your screen height to avoid neck pain and eye strain. Invest in a comfortable office chair to prevent fatigue associated with prolonged sitting. Finally, adjust your desk to the proper height so you can sit comfortably and with enough room for your legs beneath your desk. Check that your desk height keeps your hands and wrists aligned and resting comfortably on your keyboard.
2. Sit Smart
When seated, make sure you are sitting intentionally with proper posture. While it may be annoying to begin, the correct posture will soon come naturally with practice, and your body will thank you in the long term.
To sit in the correct position, ensure your legs are parallel to the ground to avoid an imbalance in your spine and pelvis. Also, sit back in your chair to allow your spine to be fully supported. You may need a footrest or supportive pillow behind your lower back to achieve this. Using your chair’s armrests will help to avoid shoulder fatigue.
3. Take Frequent Breaks
Sitting for too long can contribute to poor posture. Take a break at least once per hour to avoid muscle strain. Take a short walk or stretch to relieve tension and promote proper blood flow.
4. Work on Core Strength
An essential element of proper posture is core strength. While exercising, make sure to incorporate core strengthening exercises into your routine. Simple movements like planks, bridges, and crunches will help you to create a strong core foundation.
5. Practice Shoulder Retraction
Another common issue caused by prolonged poor posture is the rounding and slumping of shoulders. Counteract this with shoulder retraction. Sit straight, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat this exercise several times a day to strengthen your upper back muscles.
6. Stretch Regularly
It is normal to experience issues from prolonged sitting, even if you ensure proper posture. Reduce muscle tension by stretching regularly. Focus on stretching your chest, shoulders, neck, and hip flexors, as these areas are particularly prone to tightening due to prolonged sitting.
7. Consider a Standing Desk
A standing desk can be a game changer for people with sedentary jobs. A standing desk helps with the fatigue associated with prolonged sitting and is beneficial for your overall health. These benefits include improved circulation, boosted mood and focus, and increased burning of calories.
At the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin, helping you work comfortably and safely is a top priority. We care about your back health. If back pain and the damage from too much computer work has impacted your daily life, consider reaching out to our team of orthopedic specialists.
Our experts are here to help you live an active and pain-free life. To make an appointment, go online or call (414) 961-6800.