When sitting for prolonged periods of time, do you notice neck, back, or shoulder discomfort?
It is crucial that we set up our work space properly in order to protect our physical wellbeing. Improved posture can help to decrease the stress and strain that may come from working in a compromised position. Just because a certain position feels comfortable doesn’t mean it’s good for you, e.g. slouching on the sofa. The picture below is a great example of how you should be set up at your desk when working. Follow these guidelines to help improve your posture whilst working.
The better your desk posture, the longer you can work without problem
Sit with a cushion behind your lower back.
Do not round the middle of your back or shoulders.
Sit with your head up and back, do not let your chin poke forwards.
Keyboard at elbow level, not too high or too low.
Sit straight on to the keyboard and monitor, with your eye gaze around 10 degrees downwards towards the centre of the monitor and the monitor slightly tilted backwards.
Knees should be below hip level
Take regular breaks!
Prolonged sitting may manifest many physical well-being issues, it can cause lower metabolic rate, increase risk of obesity and high blood pressure, decreased insulin resistance and much more. This is why it is important to take breaks from sitting, whether that’s working at your desk, watching TV or reading. To avoid generalised decrease in daily movement, weight bearing and muscle activity and prolonged sitting with poor posture, you may want to set a timer to make sure you don’t lose track of time. Make sure you move around every 30 minutes to get the blood circulating, lengthen muscle fibers, lubricate joints and take the pressure off your spine and allow your postural muscles some recovery time!
Generally, the better your desk posture, the longer you can work without problem. The more compromised your posture is, the less time you can work.
Incorporate an active break during prolonged periods of sitting
Try this stretching routine whilst working at your desk on during periods of prolonged sitting:
Complete these stretches on both sides for 15 seconds.
You can perform these exercises whilst sat at your desk. If you have time, try to incorporate a short walk around your house/garden to get the blood flowing around the body.