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The very proof of human evolution is simple: having an upright posture. Although it is a very hot topic for many debates, some believe that good posture is one of the things that separates us from the humans in the ancient world.
Well, somewhere between four hundred thousand to forty thousand years ago, many historians say that our ancestors — Neanderthals, lived with a slouched posture. Some account this lousy posture to the fact that Neanderthals hunch forward for close access to the ground during meal times. If so, why are we still prone to slouching now that we have tables and chairs?
One medical explanation is that we hunch forward because our back and shoulder muscles that work to hold the shoulder joints in place are imbalanced. But, imbalanced back or shoulder muscles aside, the main reason that we slouch so much is the poor environment we live in and the habit we developed due to the effects of gadgets and technology.
In recent years, we have become couch potatoes, who sit slumped over while watching TV series and posting on social media for hours on end. And, that is not to mention all the slouching we do behind the desks at work or while sitting in traffic or looking at the computer in our office cubicles.
Indeed, our modern lifestyle and habits have contributed to our poor and unhealthy posture. Furthermore, this unhealthy habit can also be blamed for the increasing number of back injuries, pains, headaches, breathing problems, and easy fatiguability.
The good news, on the other hand, is that it is not too late. You can still do something to improve your posture and prevent complications. On this article, we will discuss ten helpful tips on how to have good posture at work and other few tricks of the trade.
To truly keep ourselves up for optimal work performance, as well as correct life-long habits that promote excellent health and wellness, we need to know how to make good posture a habit.
Here are some of the most effective ways to improve good posture at work. Following these tips can help prevent your job to be a pain in the ass — both literally and figuratively.
One of the most important steps on how to have good posture at work is knowing what a good posture is and what is not. Simply, to have a good posture, you need to be able to answer the question — what is a good posture.
The answer is that it varies depending on what kind of work you do. The jargon for the study of people in relation to the working environment is ergonomics. In this article, we will discuss the basics of ergonomics and how to have good posture at work.
If you are working in the office and using a computer or doing a lot of paperwork behind a table, the number one rule to have a good sitting posture is avoiding a hunchback position.
If you are not sure if you are prone to hunching your shoulders at work, one way to know is by asking yourself “Do I experience neck pain or upper back pain when working?” If your answer is yes, research says that it may be a sign that you are slouching too much and that your shoulder or spine is getting stiff as a result.
If your work involves a lot of standing, remember to distribute your body weight evenly. Proper distribution of body weight means that you balance the weight of your entire body to your front, back, and sides of the feet.
On the other hand, a good sitting posture involves taking advantage of a chair’s characteristics and features. You should be sitting up straight with shoulders, ears, and hips aligned in one vertical line.
However, while all of these are aligned, you should also maintain the normal curvature of the back. When sitting, distribute the weight of your body evenly on both sides of your hips, and keep your feet flat on the ground.
Becoming aware of bad posture and ergonomics not just at work, but at home, or anywhere is a critical step towards maintaining a good posture and various ergonomic techniques.
This means being conscious about your poor posture whether you sit in a restaurant, watch television, or any other daily activities you do. Also, you can ask your friends to sit up straight when you slouch.
As you sit for extended periods, the back muscles tire resulting in slouching or hunching, slumping, and other bad postures. In turn, the neck and back get extra pressure on.
In order to avoid this from happening and keep a relaxed yet supported posture, you should change positions as frequently as possible. You can do so by taking a break from sitting on your office chair every thirty minutes.
For example, you can either stand or stretch for two minutes, or go to the washroom and walk. To sum it up, just try to steer clear of sitting in the same position for more than half an hour.
Regular posture exercises can help the body stay conditioned. Aside from that, there are specific strengthening exercises that you can do to help the muscles in the back to stay strong.
In particular, to support the torso or upper body and maintain a good posture, a balance between the core muscles and back muscles is essential.
And, you do not need to go jogging or get a nifty treadmill session to exercise. If you are at work, you can do sitting exercises. For instance, you can turn your head all the way to one side and then on the other side to reduce head, neck, and shoulder tension.
If you are working in front of a computer, rest your eyes by looking away and focusing on the wall or something six feet away from you. You can also wiggle your buttocks for a few seconds to remove tension from the pelvis.
For the neck, try to sit long and tall as if you have books on your head like a model practicing before a runway walk. These exercises help prevent poor posture, which will further help to relieve back pains, condition the muscles, and to avoid injury.
Here is a video showing for easy exercises to improve your posture:
One of the easiest ways to have a good posture at work is to get a posture corrector. A posture corrector, also known as a back brace will help you keep your back in proper body alignment.
If you habitually or unconsciously slouch, it might help you a lot. However, we recommend for you to know what kinds of posture correctors are there and know how to choose one that will best suit your needs.
You can also read reviews and buyers guide, so you’ll have an idea on which products are popular to many individuals who have the same concern as you when it comes to having a good posture. This way, you can correct your posture without someone having to remind you to sit up straight and chin up.
Avoid wearing shoes that are high-heeled especially if your job requires you to stand for long periods. High-heeled shoes can affect the body’s center of gravity and cause compensatory alignment of the whole body.
It means that it results in distortion of the body’s natural balance since you are putting extra pressure on the balls of the feet and knees, secondary to placing your heels in a position higher than the toes.
Long term effects of exerting pressure on areas where it should not be will cause the hips, back, and shoulders to deviate from the normal body alignment, leading to back problems and chronic pain.
Always remember proper body mechanics. Promoting good posture at work is not limited to posture exercises or avoiding forward head posture. Whether at work or not, all moving activities require ergonomics and proper posture.
These activities include picking up a paper on the floor, lifting heavy materials, holding a telephone, or simply walking down the corridor at the office. Back injuries and discomfort often result from bad posture and to avoid this, make it a habit to remember correct posture even if you are in motion.
Once you are used to doing every activity with ergonomics in mind, good posture comes naturally.
Although it may require a little bit of effort, time, and few bucks out of your pocket, you should try to personalize your workspace in relation to your posture and body mechanics.
It may cost you extra to buy lumbar back supports for your office chairs or tables that are appropriate for your height. However, it will be worth-it than having several back problems in the future.
It will be so much more beneficial, easier, and cheaper to correct physical environments and apply ergonomics at the workplace than going to pain and back clinic for doctor visits or healing therapies for various neck and back conditions.
Consider these tips and tricks a brief lifestyle and healthy habit audit that will help you improve your body posture. It can also increase your confidence level, help you to be more productive, and give you a general feel-good vibe that we strive for on a daily basis.
Remember that it is essential to maintain an overall comfortable and relaxed posture. The tips that we have discussed today are relatively easy to follow and will surely be advantageous in terms of a healthier back and less pain or back problems in the long run.
However, we are not suggesting that a good posture is a cure-all, and certainly, some existing back conditions may not be treated by these tips. Instead, these are just practical ways to invite and promote daily wellbeing into your work life.
In behalf of the Easy Posture team, we hope that you enjoyed the information about the tips on how to have good posture at work. If you found this article useful, do not be shy to share and discuss these tips with your officemates and talk about ergonomics in the workplace with your employers.
The benefits of having a good posture will be for everyone’s interest. With an improved posture, you can be happier and healthier in your work environment.