Most occupations these days have us sitting 9-5, Monday to Friday. When doing a 40hour work week, it is important that you are sitting comfortably and correctly. We are not designed to sit for long periods and long durations of sitting can be detrimental to our health. Additional to not being optimal to our health, prolonged sitting can also decrease your work productivity.
Our spines have a natural 'S' shaped curved but when we sit in a slumped posture, this curve turns into a 'C' shape. This slumped position compresses our abdomen, reducing digestion of food, compresses our ribs, decresing our ability to breathe optimally and can place strain on our back muscles, joints, ligaments and vertebral discs.
Tips to sitting comfortably and correctly
- Sit with your feet flat on the floor
- Do not cross your legs, as this puts a twist through your hips, pelvis and spine
- Have your lower back supported, most office chairs have a lumbar support. If your chair does not have any lower back support place a small pillow or rolled up towel into this area
- Have your shoulders relaxed. Make sure your shoulders are not up by your ears
- Elbows are relaxed, with your forearms and wrists straight
- Adjust your computer screen height so you are not straining your neck looking down or up high at the screen
General advice whilst at work
- Take micro (short) breaks frequently. Get up and sit back down, this readjusts your posture and increases blood flow to your muscles
- Have a glass of water beside you. It is very important we keep up our water intake. Bathroom breaks are a good reason to get up and move about too
- Go for a walk at lunch time. A great way to clear your mind and help with a productive afternoon, is a simple and quick walk at lunch time. Ideally outside but if it is raining, indoors is just as good
- Set realistic timelines. Each day create an achievable 'to do list'. Your productivity may actually decrease if you 'bite off more than you can chew'