5 Tips to Improve Your Posture If You Work an Office Job

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Office jobs are often viewed as being cushy, but anyone who sits at a desk for hours each day knows just how bad those aches and pains can get over time. Currently, nearly a quarter of adults worldwide suffer from back pain, and working a desk job can also cause discomfort in your neck, shoulders, and arms. Taking a few simple steps to improve your posture at your office job makes a big difference in your overall wellness.

5 Tips to Improve Your Posture If You Work an Office Job

Train Your Body to Stay In Alignment

Many people have no idea what good posture actually feels like, and it is highly possible that you’ve been sitting incorrectly for years. Take some time to learn how good posture looks in different positions. As a general rule, your spine should be a straight line from your hips and into your neck, whether you are sitting or standing. However, there are also a few ways to place your feet and hands when you are sitting at a desk.

For instance, your feet should be flat on the floor and your hands should be at or below elbow level. Once you learn how your body should be aligned, it will be easier to make adjustments to your work habits that allow it to stay that way.

Set Reminders for Movement Breaks

Even with good posture, sitting in the same position for too long can lead to those kinks in your neck that seem like they won’t go away. Maintaining a perfectly still position can also lead to fatigue, which can cause your body to default to slumping in your chair. Ideally, you should be moving for a couple of seconds or minutes every half hour.

During some of your breaks, this might mean doing something as simple as adjusting your position. On others, you might need to stand up and walk around for a period of time. Many people also find that standing up and doing a posture check helps improve their alignment. Once you have your back straight and chin in the right position, make sure to keep it there as you lower yourself down into your seat.

Practice Active Sitting

Active sitting involves engaging your core as you work at your desk. Active sitting chairs come with special features that include a rocker that allows you to shift your weight to maintain better posture. Ergonomic furniture for working at your desk may also have less of a back than what you see on a thick office chair.

This is meant to help you focus on keeping your back straight rather than allowing your spine to follow the curve of an office chair that isn’t designed for helping with posture. People who engage in active sitting also burn a few more calories during their workday while strengthening their core muscles which contribute to spinal alignment.

Find the Right Position for the Monitor and Keyboard

Most people simply start working at the desk that was set up by the person who held the position before them. This means that your workspace might not be in the correct position for your height and work habits.

You’ll want to start by making sure that your computer monitor is about an arm’s length away from your body, and the top of the screen should be around your eye level. The keyboard should also be within easy reach, which allows you to type without having to shift too far out of your postural alignment.

Focus On Looking Up

You’ll move your spine out of alignment every time you look down. While this is sometimes unavoidable, there are some things you can do to reduce the frequency of downward head movements. One of the simplest things you can do is make sure that the things you need are within easy reach.

If you need to use sticky notes, then place them around your monitor or on a bulletin board that is nearby and also at eye level. Practicing good typing habits can also help you avoid having to look down constantly.

Bottom Line

Improving your posture takes time, and you’ll want to be extra vigilant during the first several weeks of learning how to keep your spine in alignment. Once you’ve got good posture down, remember to monitor your comfort throughout the day. While you should notice a huge improvement within a few weeks of using these strategies, making sure to maintain good habits is important to avoid having the pain return.

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