Ergonomics

How to Maintain Good Posture Working at the Computer

Gone are the days when posture and neck problems were reserved for senior adults. When was the last time you longed for a good stretch that fixed your neck? Doing it right now, right? Yes, posture problems, soreness, pain, numbness, and stiffness are commonly faced by millennials as well. The majority of young Americans strive to make ends meet. This requires them to sit for long hours at their office; most of the time, more than 40 hours a week! And if they are not at work, their faces are dug into their phones. Either way, they are hunched over gadgets. This causes prolonged tension, stiffness, or pain in their backs, necks, knees, and hips. This further impacts their posture.

Symptoms and side effects of poor posture

  • Chronic pain in the back, neck, and shoulder.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Cardiovascular diseases.
  • Constant migraines
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Lung problems/diseases
  • Gastrointestinal pain and constipation

The silver lining here is that consistent efforts can reverse the incorrect posture. Also, it can help you improve your posture, protecting you from potential chronic ailments. So, while you are at your desk, try following these tips to maintain good posture.

Know the right desk chair posture

Sitting in the same old, slumped position seems like the ideal choice, but you are doing it wrong. Think about it. Curved back, drooping shoulders, and protruding neck? Either or all of these signs are the results of poor posture. This is why most office-goers complain of physical pain. So, you must be mindful of maintaining the right posture while sitting on your desk chair.

  • When you sit on your chair, make sure the sole of your feet lays flat on the platform. Keep adjusting your chair until you feel your knees align with your hips.
  • Next, your hips should touch the back of the chair with your back straight.
  • Your desk chair should be reclined at a 110-degree angle.
  • The keyboard should not be too far from your hands, it should be within your reach. It should not be in an elevated position or placed too low.
  • Your neck should not feel strained at any point while sitting. The monitor should be placed at your eye level. This will keep your neck relaxed.
  • Shoulders should be relaxed and move around to stretch often. This will prevent soreness in the muscles.

Practice Posture Exercises

Another tip to improve your posture is to never sit for long hours. You must take a break every thirty minutes. Sitting for extended hours will only hamper your blood circulation. This could result in swelling, soreness, and pain. Practicing mild stretching exercises in between will help retain energy and proper blood flow in the body. These exercises should also be done at home every day.

  • Brisk walking does the trick every time. Either walk around in your office for five minutes every 30 minutes or if not, you must take a 30-minute power walk during office hours. If your hectic schedule does not allow it, then do brisk walking for an hour after work. This will immediately eliminate the effects of sitting for long hours.
  • Yoga poses are a wonderful option for good posture. Include yoga poses that boost muscle stretching and strengthening. It will gradually reflect on body alignment in the hips, back, and neck. There is even a special form of yoga for Office Yoga
  • Choose a comfortable spot and lie down on your back. Now focus on a point on your back that hurts the most. Next, gently put a foam roller under the affected area. Now, roll from side to side, generating gentle massage moves. These movements will provide support for your back when you try to sit up straighter. With every session, you will feel less discomfort.

Change Your Chair

Good posture must be maintained throughout the day. As easy as it appears, it is impossible without a supportive office chair. Your office chair must be comfortable, durable, adjustable, and supportive. It only aids in good posture and comfortable seating.

  • An ideal office chair must have a durable backrest that caters to lower and upper back support. This helps maintain the natural shape of your spine.
  • The office chair must provide an adjustable armrest and seat height, headrest, reclining angle of the backrest, and additional support for the back of your neck and head.
  • Most importantly, the office chair padding must be adequate comfortable for your back and hips.

Be mindful

Practicing these tips will not work in your favor if you are not aware of your habits. Make sure to not slouch while sitting or standing. Make sure to set alarms to take frequent breaks from your streaming video binges and gaming. Routine stretches in between and regular exercise will help in improving your posture. It will also help in boosting your flexibility and agility by supporting your spinal column. This is where yoga plays a vital role. Yoga asanas help relax the muscles while strengthening them.

Remember to stay mindful and consult professionals when stiffness and pain go far beyond your reach. See your chiropractor when you experience extreme discomfort. Medical professionals are trained to properly correct postural issues. With regular adjustments and therapy sessions, you can improve your health condition by fixing your posture.

Good posture not only protects your health but also boosts your self-esteem. It keeps you active and happy throughout the day. It is often seen that bad posture leads to muscle pain and strain that eventually results in chronic fatigue. This impacts your mood and productivity. Physical appearance is the least of your worries when it comes to bad posture. It also leads to stress and anxiety because of poor blood circulation and constant discomfort. When you sit right, you improve your posture, helping you immensely in your professional efficiency.

The above tips will improve your posture, despite the long hours at your office desk. The key to good posture is to practice these tips regularly, whether or not you are in your office.

About the author

Linux Wolfman

Linux Wolfman is interested in Operating Systems, File Systems, Databases and Analytics and always watching for new technologies and trends. Reach me by tweeting to @linuxhint and ask for the Wolfman.