For many of us, sitting at a desk, computer or even lifting is a daily part of our work routine. What you may not know is that the routine may be more harmful in the long-term than you can imagine. Our bodies were made to move throughout a variety of positions during the day. From sitting to walking, to squatting, your body needs frequent movement pattern changes. If you have more of a sedentary job, then the lack of variety in your body positions throughout the day can be detrimental to different areas of your body.
Here are some tips to help you feel your best at work, be more productive and have more energy:
Change your positions frequently – If you sit at a desk or even stand for prolonged periods, try to accomplish different parts of your job in different positions. For example, if you sit at a computer, try to get up every 30 minutes to walk around for 1-2 minutes or do a different task.
Try a standing desk – Standing is far better than sitting. If your job requires you to sit at a computer for most of the day, consider a standing desk. Being able to stand for 2-3 hours a day, instead of sitting the whole time, can make a big difference in the way that you feel and the health of your spine. There are some good standing desks on the market such as varidesk.com that make it easy to transition from sitting to standing.
Sit correctly at your desk – When sitting, make sure that you are sitting tall, like a string is pulling you through the top of your head. Your computer should be directly in front of you, instead of off to the side. It should also be at the height where the top 1/3rd of the screen is at eye level. Furthermore, make sure your keyboard is at the adequate height, creating about a 90-degree bend or less in your elbows. Armrests can be helpful to alleviate pressure on the shoulders when typing.
Vary your foot position when standing – If your job requires you to stand for a long time, such as in retail sales, make sure that you stand with one foot slightly forward. Alternate this throughout the day. This posture engages your hip and leg muscles more to alternate pressures in the spine.
Watch how you bend – Many jobs require frequent bending, and in similar manners repetitively throughout the day. This may feel fine while you are doing the task, but can lead to repetitive trauma on the spinal muscles and discs. The goal is to make sure that your back is straight and you use your hips and knees to bend down to the item you are trying to get to. In addition, if you can kneel at times with one foot forward and the other back, this can help you protect your spine further.
In physical therapy, not only do we alleviate aches and pains, but we also get your body moving. Part of our process is to educate you on different posture techniques to help you feel your best throughout the day and at work. If you are suffering with back, neck, shoulder, hip or knee pain, give us a call to talk to one of our experts. A simple improvement in the way that you move can make a big difference in the way that you feel.