For those who spend their workdays in front of a computer, slumping forward or backward often feels much more comfortable than sitting straight up for eight hours. But slumping and other improper posture techniques can do serious damage to your spine, neck, hips and other joints. Poor posture can lead to arthritis and joint pain, weak ligaments and muscle strain, just to name a few issues.
While there are some facets of posture that are well-known, some are surprising to read. But knowing how to sit and stand properly at work can save you a lot of pain down the road.
Sitting Properly at Work
If you are reading this while sitting down, freeze. Notice your posture. Are your shoulders hunched? Is your neck craned? Now consider your legs. Are they flat on the floor, or are they crossed in any way? These are all detrimental to your overall posture.
Here are some other tips to make sure you are sitting correctly:
- Keep your forearms at a parallel angle to the ground and relax your shoulders. If you need to, take in a large breath and let your shoulders rise with it. Then exhale and let your shoulders drop; this is a relaxed position.
- Your upper back does not need as much support as your lower and mid-back. Adjust your seat if possible if your upper back is getting more support.
- Your knees should be parallel or below your hips, and there should be a small gap between the seat and the back of your knees.
- Get up or adjust your position every now and again.
This slumped posture of sitting in front of a workstation for hours on end often translates into how we stand and walk. Just as sitting improperly can damage ligaments, muscles and joints, so can standing improperly. If you can, stand up and follow these tips to learn correct posture:
- Stand as straight tall as you can, then roll your shoulders backward and keep them there. If you have a little “padding” on your stomach, standing straight should help tuck it in.
- Your head should remain level to keep your neck from getting strained. If your ears are level with your shoulders, your head is straight.
- Your arms should be relaxed, hanging loosely at your side.
- Keep your knees bent just a bit. Locking your knees can lead to passing out.
- Though it may feel odd, shift your weight to the balls of your feet, and keep your feet about shoulder-length apart. If you’re standing for a long time, shift your weight between different parts of the feet or from one foot to another.
If you did this while reading this blog, chances are you feel a little silly. It will feel odd for a while, just as sitting properly will. But consciously making the decision to have proper posture will soon become natural, and your body will thank you for it.
Dealing With Neck Pain in Woodbridge
Improper posture, especially while sitting at work, can lead to major pain all along the spine, including the neck. If you need help with your neck pain in Woodbridge, let ACT Wellness help. Our chiropractic techniques, both traditional and cutting-edge, can have you feeling pain-free in no time. Contact us today to set up an appointment.