Six Tips to Improve Your Posture While Working at a Desk All Day
The majority of working Americans (86 percent) sit all day at their job. And their spines show it.
Take a look around the next time you’re out and about, and you’ll likely see that most — if not all — people have rounded shoulders and forward heads (a condition often referred to as upper crossed syndrome). This poor posture can contribute to a number of unpleasant conditions, including headaches, neck and lower back pain, and fatigue.
If you’re in this position and want to improve your posture, implementing these six tips is a great place to start. Even if you sit at a desk all day, you can still work to straighten out your spine and reduce your symptoms.
Focus on Alignment
One of the easiest things you can do to improve your posture while working at a desk is to learn what proper alignment feels like. Some guidelines to follow to make sure your body is aligned include:
- Sit up straight in your chair
- Make sure your ears, shoulders, and hips all form one line.
- Plant your feet flat on the floor
- Keep your arms bent at 90 degrees
- Keep your wrists neutral (avoid flexing or overextending them)
It’s also helpful to alternate between sitting back against the back of the chair and sitting on the edge toward the front (just don’t overarch your back when you do this). Avoid crossing your legs, leaning to one side, or tilting your head in any direction.
Invest in a Good Office Chair
Most office chairs are notorious for being extremely uncomfortable. If possible, try to swap out your current office chair for one that’s a bit higher quality.
To choose a good desk chair, be on the lookout for the following characteristics:
- Adjustable back, height, and armrests
- Soft but supportive cushion
- Adjustable lumbar support
If possible, head to an office supply store to try out chairs before you buy them. If you have to order online, check the reviews and find out what people are saying about a particular chair before pulling the trigger.
Use a Posture Corrector
Many people also benefit from wearing posture correction aids while sitting at their desk. These braces can help you figure out what good posture actually feels like.
The key is to avoid wearing them all day, every day, though. If you never take the brace off, you’ll start to lose strength in your back and core muscles.
This can make it harder for you to maintain good posture without the help of the brace.
Sitting in one position, even a properly aligned one, for too long, can lead to back pain and other issues. Take a break once every hour to get up and walk around or stretch.
This will help you keep your blood flowing and your muscles loose, and it’ll be easier for you to maintain your good posture throughout the day.
Many people find themselves hunching over their computers because their eyes are tired and they need help reading what’s on the screen. To avoid this, wear corrective lenses while you work.
Even if you think your vision is fine, having a pair of reading or blue-blocking glasses (which protect your eyes from the strain brought on by blue light) can make a big difference if you notice yourself leaning forward as the workday goes on.
Adjust Your Computer
Another way to easily improve your posture is to set your desk up for success. Adjust your computer monitor so that it is level with your eyes. You ought to be able to look straight ahead and see everything on your screen. If you’re lifting your head up or down to see the screen, you need to do some rearranging.
As you can see, improving your posture is easier than people make it out to be. It doesn’t matter that you have to sit at a desk all day. With some conscious effort and a few well-chosen tools, you’ll be able to straighten out your spine and relieve the symptoms of upper crossed system before you know it.