08 Aug Oooh my back! – Easy ways to improve your seated posture
A bad back is one of the most common UK health complaints and a significant contributor to back pain, is poor posture.
Because so many of us these days sit for very long hours either in front of a computer screen or in a vehicle, here we bring you a number of easy ways to improve your seated posture and reduce the day to day pressure that you put on your spine.
The ‘comfit’ chair!
The first thing to do, is to ensure that the chair or seat you are using is positioned correctly and that it is keeping your body fully aligned.
You should not be using a fixed position chair or seat but one that you can adjust (height, lean, etc.) to suit your unique body shape.
Get yourself centred
When sitting, your bodyweight should also be distributed evenly.
Therefore, you should be sitting up straight, your shoulders should not be hunched and you should not be leaning forward.
You should also have the comfort of full lumber support (lower back), so if your chair is not adaptable enough, do add in an additional lower back support fitting or even a small (but firm) cushion or rolled towel.
Face up to it
If you are using a screen you should be directly facing it and not looking at it sideways.
In addition, the screen should be high enough so that you look directly at the main part of the screen while your head and eyes remain level.
Don’t get crossed
You legs should be uncrossed and your feet should be supported with a footrest to lift your knees to the same approximate height as your hips.
If you are driving, make sure that your seat is not too far back and the foot pedals are at a safe and optimum distance.
If you are using a keyboard it should be at the right height for your arms (ideally your elbow joints will sit at a 90 or 100 degree angle).
Take a muscle break
Remember that all the time you are sat down working, your muscles are not actually relaxed, they are working too.
Your spine muscles therefore, are under constant strain and it is a good idea to observe what’s known as the ‘10 minute rule’.
The idea here, is that if you work in an office, for ten minutes of each hour you should get up out of your chair and do some other work which allows you to move about.
If you are driving long distances you will also need to take breaks to refresh your posture and enable you to move about.
Build up your exercise
One of the best ways to counter all that ‘fixed position’ inactivity is exercise.
Swimming is an ideal exercise because it uses a very wide range body muscles yet your weight is constantly supported by the water.
What’s more, you don’t need to be a top Olympic athlete to benefit as even one or two swim sessions per week will have a positive effect.
For more information about how we support your general health and wellbeing here at Hands on at Work, call now on 07989 367669.