More and more people are finding themselves in jobs that involve sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time. It’s not uncommon to head home at the end of a long work day and find that your back and neck are stiff and achy. This problem gets magnified as the week drags on and those stiff areas get worse each passing day which makes you long for the reprieve of the weekend even more.
Sitting and working or studying in front of a computer might not seem like the most strenuous activity out there but that prolonged position can really take its toll on your body if you aren’t careful to maintain proper upright posture throughout the day.
Here is an example of bad posture and what we want to try and avoid:
- Slumped sitting position
- Rounded lower back and shoulders
- Head protruding forward
- Resting on the table to hold yourself up
Look familiar? Take a look around your office and see how many people you can spot in this position. As your body fatigues, it becomes easy to collapse into this position but it comes at a cost. The muscles throughout the neck and back have to go into overdrive to stop you from face planting into the computer screen. Those muscles tense up over time and will make you feel like you have aged 20 years pretty quickly.
- Body in a more upright position
- Head in line with the torso
- Shoulders pulled back
- Trunk upright
- Spine in alignment from top to bottom
Pretty sharp contrast from the 1st picture. By maintain a nice and upright sitting posture, the muscles throughout your neck and back don’t take nearly the same abuse as they do when your body starts to slump.
Maintaining a nice and upright posture throughout the day isn’t easy to do. It will take some time to retrain your muscles to make it through a full work day in this position but your body will thank you for it later.
Here are some tips for maintaining good posture in your work place:
- Choose an appropriate chair
- Your hips and knees should be comfortably able to rest at 90 degree angles
- Find additional lumbar support to hold yourself upright if needed
- Position your computer screen at eye level if possible; this will prevent your head from drifting forward to stare at the screen
- Get up every hour and move around; give your body a chance to reset and not stiffen up
- Sit up tall and pull your shoulder blades back