More and more of us are now in sedentary based jobs and lifestyle. Office work, sitting at lunch, driving and sitting again to watch T.V in the evening are normal and common every day activities. This can mean that our bodies are sitting for the majority of the day.
There are many health risks of prolonged sitting including heart disease and obesity but from a musculo-skeletal point of view, sitting postures can create an imbalance in our muscular-skeletal system. Over time sitting may shorten the muscles in front of our bodies; pects and hip flexors and lengthen/weaken our posterior musculature such as the glutes and posterior shoulder musculature. This imbalance can then pose problems and can contribute to postural related neck pain, TMJ pain of the jaw, lower back pain, shoulder impingement and injuries of the lower limb in runners and upper limb in racket sports/swimmers etc.
Take a read of our tips below and check out our exercises that can help combat any office based postural problems. Prevention is better than cure.
Tips for the office
1. Have a comfortable chair and work station set up. Make sure you have your arms resting at your sides with your wrists at neutral position, eyes in line with the top of your monitor maintaining neutral neck position. A lumbar support in your chair can help maintain a normal spinal position.
2. If you work from home or if work would allow.... why not check out the Varidesk which means the work station can be changed from standing to sitting or even sitting on a Swiss ball.
2. Drink plenty.... this will mean you have to go to the toilet more.... so you have to stand up and walk more.
3. Stand up regularly, try using a regular prompt that you do in the day to remind you, such as when answering the phone.
4. Walk/stand at lunch time. Make sure you have a lunch away from the computer/office. A brisk walk in the fresh air is a great cardio work out, straightens out the spine, gets the muscles working and it's also a good form of relaxation.
5. Try and avoid using your mobile phone in breaks for prolonged periods as they will more likely be a worse posture than your actual work set up.
6. Walk/cycle to work or if not possible try and go for a walk when you get home or stand to have your cuppa in the kitchen and think about some exercise in the evening.
7. Make sure you have regular eye checks to ensure you have the correct prescription in your lenses or if you may require glasses. Reduced eye sight- blurring and difficulty focusing may mean that your neck position changes and results in a bad posture.
8. Try and avoid holding the telephone between your ear and shoulder whilst continuing to type/write. Try using headphones instead.
9. Ensure that your car seat is in the correct posture with lumbar support and pelvic tilt if needed. Try not to travel far in sports cars or use on a regular basis as the bucket seats affect the pelvic and spine position bringing about a poor posture.
10. Best of all..... try our great office stretches and exercises... we have included 2 on this blog. There's more to come next month!!