If you are one of the 50% of Australians that sit at an office desk from 9am – 5pm (or some variation of that) then you are probably guilty of sitting in that same position for most of the day, often unaware of the potential effects of poor posture on your spine.
Between sitting at home on the couch, on the train to work and in the office all day, you could only be left with around one hour to stand, walk and exercise.
While sitting down for long periods of time cannot be entirely avoided, improving your posture and staying active throughout the day can prove beneficial for your spinal health and overall wellbeing.
Here are a few helpful tips to get in the habit of practicing good posture:
- While winter is almost here, take advantage of the weather by going for a walk during your lunch break.
- Take the stairs instead of the lift up to the office.
- Take little breaks every 30 minutes by walking to the coffee machine or bathroom to keep your body moving.
- Pay attention to the way you sit at work – avoid hunching or slouching at your desk. Sit back in your chair and make sure your back is well supported by the chair.
- When at your desk distribute your body weight evenly on both hips and keep your feet flat on the floor.
- If you have a height adjustable desk, try alternating frequently between standing and sitting. If your workplace does not offer standing desks, it may be a good idea to request one.
- Take a moment to assess your office desk. Are there any elements that are putting stress or strain on your body? Keep the mouse and telephone within easy reach so you don’t have to stretch to reach them. Adjust your computer screen so that your neck is in a neutral position and be mindful of your posture while sitting.
It is easy to forget to take a break when we are busy at work. So, set an alarm on your phone to remind you or use the reminders on the Straighten Up app.
Taking these habits home with you will help put them into practice in everyday life and will also ensure that good posture and spinal care is integrated into every aspect of your life.
- Place feet hip-width apart—sit or stand
- Bring right hand above your head, bend elbow and bring your right palm to touch your back
- Stretch left arm to the side, bend elbow and bring hand behind your back moving the left fingertips to meet the right then clasping the right hand (or bringing it as close as possible to the right hand)
- Hold stretch for 5 to 10 deep breaths then repeat on other side
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