Do you sit at a desk all day? Many people spend their work days confined to their desk in front of a computer. Ensuring that you maintain good posture, checking if your work area is comfortable and performing a couple of quick exercises can help minimise any pain and keep you comfortable at work or desk. Brianna Morgan, Member and physiotherapist shares five quick tips:
- Be tall & proud. ‘Good posture’ is not about squeezing shoulder blades back. Good posture is maintaining optimal spinal alignment through all that we do. Imagine you are a puppet being danced along by a string attached to the crown of your head. You are tall, your arms are relaxed and your movement is free. Avoid being rigid, tense and slouched. For some people the cue of ‘lift up through your chest bone & be proud’ works best.
- Out with the old (desk chair) & in with the new (fit ball)! Get your hands on the biggest fit ball on the market & substitute this instead of your desk chair. The use of a fit ball encourages core activation & postural muscle activation all day. Without realising it, you will actually be moving all day and strengthening muscles that when weak, can contribute to desk work related injuries & pains.
- Alternate between sitting & standing. Yes standing desks are a bit of a craze, but they’re here to stay!! Humans are designed to move. We are not designed to sleep, sit all day at work and then sit all afternoon/night on the couch. I often suggest to my clients that they sit for the first few hours of the day, then swap to standing for the second half of the day. This stretches out your hip flexors, core & chest that become weak and tight from sitting for hours on end.
- Set a timer for every hour of the day. All you have to do is stand up & stretch for one minute. Just this little body reset exercise can significantly improve your posture.
- Be mindful. Along with the stand-up exercise, for every hour of the day, try & watch the clock for an entire minute without allowing any thoughts enter your mind. It is amazing how hard this activity can be for those that find their days are a constant battle against the clock & feel overwhelmed with the stressors of life.