Did you know that the average American sits for 10 hours a day? Maintaining proper sitting posture at all hours of the day is important to avoid chronic disease, back pain, and much more. Since sitting is a necessary part of our days for most of us, proper sitting posture can play a large role in preventing any negative effects.
Good sitting posture means staying mindful of every part of your body. Run through this checklist to ensure you’re hitting all the marks.
The spine has a natural “S” curve to it. Sitting in a chair can quickly reduce this curve and make it feel nearly impossible to keep good posture. The lumbar spine is meant to be slightly extended. Lumbar support, either built into your chair or with a lumbar cushion, can make a huge difference. Once this area is better aligned, it should feel significantly easier to sit up straighter without slouching or bringing the head forward.
If you’re still struggling, you may choose something more proactive like a posture corrector.
If you spend a lot of time sitting, having an adjustable chair is vital. The armrests should be adjusted so that the forearms are parallel to the ground when then elbows are bent to about 90 degrees. Then, adjust your overall seat height so that your hips and knees are bent to around 90 degrees and your feet are flat on the ground.
Your monitor position plays a large role in the position of your head and neck (and whether you will have issues with neck pain and headaches). If your neck gets out of sync, chances are the rest of the body will follow too. Adjust your monitor so that the top third of the screen is at eye level. Also, keep the screen 18-24 inches from your face. This allows you to keep your chin tucked and spine in neutral. No more cranking your neck and leaning way in to see your screen!
The alignment of your entire body is important, not just your spine. Choose a keyboard and mouse that work best for your purposes. There are special mouses for gaming, thumb pain, etc. There are also ergonomic keyboards that can alleviate wrist strain as well. No matter what you choose, remember to keep your keyboard and mouse at a level that you can comfortably reach with your elbows bent to 90 degrees and posture optimized (no leaning).
NOTE: You may need to be creative and find a “middle ground” if you primarily work with a laptop.
If possible, adjust your chair height so that your feet are touching the ground. If your chair doesn’t adequately adjust or your desk doesn’t accommodate the position, you may need to get creative. A step stool or anti-fatigue mat may work under your feet if your feet can’t reach. No matter what you decide, try to evenly distribute your weight and keep your feet flat on the floor. That means no crossing of the legs or leaning.
Sitting in one position for too long leads to muscle fatigue and stiff achy joints. Plus, it can quickly start affecting your productivity. Shoot for a 1-2 minute break every 30 minutes, or every hour at the least. During a break, you can choose to do some posture exercises, stretches, or just move for a moment. It’s also a good time to grab a drink of water while you’re up.
Sitting posture when driving can come with its own unique issues. Good posture is especially important for minimizing injury in the event of a car accident. Keep in mind the above tips we discussed. Additionally, here are some more relevant tips specifically for driving.
By now, you may have realized that a fully adjustable is ideal for good posture. So when you’re in the market for a chair, look for the following features:
Realistically, the right chair might not be in your budget or you’re waiting for your current one to bite the dust. That where tools like a seat cushion, lumbar support pillows, stools, and more can help you work with what you have as well.
As you get fatigued or complacent it can be easy to end up in positions that are less than ideal for your posture. The most common postures that we may find ourselves in that are best to avoid include:
When you start to notice these sneaky postures that we don’t even realize we’re doing half the time, take time to reset your posture. You may need to take a quick break or adjust your chair. Nowadays, standing desks are a great alternative to sitting all day as well. Don’t forget to keep good posture with other daily activities as well, such as sleeping.
The posture we hold our bodies in on a regular basis plays a large role in function. Good posture is vital for everything from musculoskeletal health to organ function and digestion. It can even affect our mood and immune system. This is what makes good posture so important for a high quality of life.
Here are the benefits of keeping good posture:
With little adjustments in your ergonomic set up for sitting and frequent rest breaks, you’ll be able to preserve a good posture and minimize possible health risks. If you start to notice your posture getting worse or you’re experiencing symptoms such as low back or neck pain, low energy, trouble concentrating, poor digestion, and more it may be time to talk to someone. A physician or physical therapist can do a formal assessment and give you personalized recommendations for optimizing your posture and health.SHOP POSTURE PRODUCTS
Next Pages:Proper Sleeping Posture
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