Improve your workplace posture

In today’s world you will probably spend most of your life sitting at a desk and what’s surprisingly astonishing is that you will do it even more than sleeping. Studies have shown that the average person spends anywhere between 8 to 12 hours a day sitting at a desk in the office, watching TV, or while commuting. By the end of your life, you will have spent about a third of your time sitting and believe it or not; most often, sitting at a desk. Yet, while sitting is among the things we do the most, we rarely worry about how to do it right, that is, how to keep the right posture.

The sitting position is scientifically recognised as one of the worst, from the health point of view. It affects our metabolism, joints and our good posture. Sit poorly and see all these problems reach another and more complicated level.

Maintaining good posture at work?

Not maintaining the perfect posture from time to time is no reason for alarm. However, when our body remains in the same position for a long period and the action is repetitive, our body tends to naturally adjust to the posture that we are most comfortable with. So when you spend a huge part of your day sitting at your desk at work, your body adapts and some muscles get more tightened while others relax and weaken. After a while, the tensions in our bodies caused by our posture shift the balance of certain joints and cause us pain. Ultimately, leading to relatively serious pathologies such as sciatica pain, osteoarthritis, joint arthritis or other serious health issues. This is why adopting ergonomic principles at work is important.

A good posture respects the natural position of our joints and the muscular balance of our body. So be it standing, walking, sitting at the desk, cooking or watching TV – there are postures that respect these balances and others that compromise them. While being seated, the ideal position is one that allows the main joints of the body to be in a neutral position that does not cause the muscles too much tension or require much stretching.
The key points to remember while maintaining good work posture:

  • Keep your back straight, avoid rounding your shoulders forward (for this, you must have your screen at your eye level).
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed
  • Place your elbows so that they form an angle of 90-100 degrees (never less)
  • Keep your knees at a height of your hips (the thighs should form an angle of 90-100 degrees with the torso)
  • Leave your legs relaxed, bent at about 90-100 degrees, leave your feet resting on the ground and do not cross your legs.

Achieving The Best Sitting Position?
To sit consistently and maintain good posture, focusing on the right position and movements is not enough – you need extra help from the right equipment.

If your desk is placed too high or too low, if your chair causes you to mould a sloppy posture or if your computer screen is poorly positioned – it doesn’t matter how dedicated you are – the odds are you will end up with bad posture over time.

Here are some tips on what you can do to keep a good posture at work:

Adjust Your Chair So You Can Keep A Good Sitting Position. You must first have a height-adjustable chair. Adjust your chair so that when you are sitting the bottom of your elbows are at the height of your desk (or slightly higher). If you lay your hands flat on your desk with your arms alongside your body, your elbows should form about a right angle.

Position Your Feet And Legs Correctly Make sure that once seated, you can position your legs and feet correctly. Your thighs should form an angle of about 90-100 degrees with your torso, and your calves should form an angle of about 90 degrees with your thighs.

You should also be able to put your feet flat on the ground without your legs being contracted. In general, for a medium-sized person, this is not a problem. But if you are very tall or rather short, this can be a problem. In case your feet do not touch the ground, it may be that your desk is a little too high. In this case, simply use a footrest (a cardboard box or any other flat object on which you can put your feet upon).

If on the contrary, you notice your legs are too high or that you are forced to extend them forward, this means your desk is too low and you may need to consider changing it or raising it. Always remember not to cross your legs or feet. This tends to make one leg work more than the other and it can lead to muscular imbalances in the pelvis which can also increases the risk of back problems because our spine is no longer properly aligned.

The Ideal Screen Height For an ideal sitting position at work, your screen should be approximately at eye level. You should be able to look at it without lowering your head and without having to lower your gaze too much – which tends to make your back bend and therefore tire your upper back muscles.

If you use a laptop, an ideal solution perhaps would be have an external display that you plug into your laptop and whose height you can adjust. However if that’s not possible it is best to invest in a laptop stand that brings the screen up to eye level.

You may not feel the negative effects of poor posture, however it will most likely show up with time. Make small changes today and take the necessary action in order to improve your health, well-being and productivity.

Blog by NG