We spend most of the day sitting at our computers that health and safety experts are getting seriously worried about the effect poor sitting posture may have long term health. They warn that poor posture can damage your spine, reduce your flexibility when move and affect your balance. It may even impact your digestive system and affect your breathing.
Illnesses like arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders can affect your posture. Being overweight, lack of exercise or wearing uncomfortable shoes may also affect your posture.
Most commonly, we get into the habit of sitting a certain way and fail to recognize how this might be affecting us. Sometimes, we slump into a chair someone else has been using and fail to adjust it to our needs.
What Experts Advise
- Ensure the seat fully supports your back or that you are sitting in a position that keeps your spine straight.
- The seat’s padding should support your thighs and hips, and your feet should touch the floor, with your legs straight down (90° to the floor).
- If your feet don’t reach the floor, get a footrest, lower the seat or find a more suitable chair.
- Relax your shoulders. Don’t round them or pull them back. Just hold them straight. Try to keep your elbows close to your body.
- Don’t sit for too long and don’t cross your legs. You should shift your sitting position every now and then, gently stretch your muscles, and take a brief walk around your office or home.
Good posture is not just about how you sit at your computer. It’s about the way you carry yourself, whether you are sitting, standing still, or walking.
While standing, consciously stand up straight as though you are trying to make yourself as tall as possible. This is when you should keep your shoulders back, pull your stomach in and keep your head level.
Posture experts also suggest that it is important to put most of your weight on the balls of your feet when you are standing, with your arms hanging down naturally at your side. Your feet should be slightly apart, about in line with your shoulder width.
A Few Seconds a Day
It’s a good habit to try regularly review your posture. Take a few seconds every now and then to give yourself a “once-over” and then make the necessary adjustments. When you keep at it, you will start to feel better.