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Better Posture, Better Health

By Donna Stark

How was your day? Was it spent clickety-clacking away on a computer keyboard, with your shoulders slumped forward and your back hunched over? Did you sit in a chair for a long period of time? Sure, you probably got up for lunch and the occasional bathroom break, chat session, or office prank, but did you spend the majority of your day sitting in one position at your desk? Unfortunately, most people do and sadly, many do not realize what is happening to their posture as they are sedentary for hours on end.

Poor Posture at Work

The projects, deadlines, pesky coworkers, and demanding bosses will always be with you at work, but your good posture may not be. Sitting for extended amounts of time on a daily basis can lead to poor posture habits, and when that occurs, it can cause a change in your body's structure and function. Take a look at some of the health issues that are often caused by this.

  • Joint restrictions
  • Increased stress on the spine and shoulders
  • Muscle instability and weakness
  • Decreased strength
  • Reduced energy levels, fatigue, and tiredness
  • Poor flexibility
  • Muscle tightness in the shoulders and neck
  • Tightness in the hips and back
  • Accelerated joint degeneration
  • Headaches
  • Pain and discomfort

Positive Steps

All of the symptoms that occur as a result of sitting too much and for too long can definitely have a detrimental effect on your health. However, the good news is that there are proactive steps you can take that will improve your posture and ultimately, your health!

  • Be intentional - To counteract the toll that poor posture can take on your body, it is critical to be intentional with the placement of your body while you are sitting. Be sure to uncross your legs and sit with both feet on the floor, pull your shoulder blades back, focus on not slouching, and keep your computer screen at eye level. You can even use a lumbar support to help as well.
  • Add movement - It's important to take a break at least every 30 minutes or so in order to add some movement to your day. Take a short walk, climb a set of stairs, or do some simple stretches, just don't stay in the same position for hours upon hours!
  • Set your desk up the right way - Sometimes a "desk audit" is needed, so take a few extra minutes to make sure that all of your work equipment is appropriate. Make sure your chair is at the correct height and your monitors are at eye level.

Improved Posture, Improved Workday

It's been shown that there is a definite link between good posture and better moods, and better moods make better days at the workplace, don't you agree? You may not be able to get rid of your pesky coworker or your demanding boss, but by practicing better posture, you will be able to get rid of those bad days. So straighten up and enjoy the benefits that good posture brings!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Temecula, Calif.

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