You’ve probably heard that sitting too much is bad for your health, often compared to the harmful effects of smoking. Research indicates that spending most of your day sitting increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and unfortunately, many of us spend a significant amount of time sitting due to technology and desk jobs.
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While it may be challenging to switch to a job that involves more physical activity, there’s a simple thing you can do right now to improve your health: sit correctly. To avoid the long-term consequences of excessive sitting, read on to discover how to maintain good posture. Additionally, find out which gadgets are genuinely worth investing in if you want to safeguard your bone health for the future.
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To find the right way to sit, follow these simple steps each time you sit down. Start by sitting at the edge of your chair, slouching forward. Then, slowly straighten your head and shoulders while pushing your lower back forward, emphasizing the natural curves of your spine. Hold this position for a few seconds, even if it feels a bit awkward.
Next, ease out of the forced position, and you’ll be in a good posture. Scoot back in the chair until your back is against it, and your hips are in the bend of the chair.
Once your back is in a good position, consider other factors that affect your posture, like where to place your feet and the distance of your screen.
Ergonomic desk chairs are specially made to support your body and reduce stress on your bones and muscles while you sit. These chairs can be a bit pricey, costing over $100. If you’re not ready to spend that much money, don’t worry — there are some alternatives you can try.
If your office chair doesn’t have lower back support, you can use a small towel or a rolled-up pillow. Once you find your proper sitting position, slide the towel or pillow between the chair and your lower back. This makeshift support should help you maintain good posture. Just make sure the towel or pillow isn’t too big, as it might force your spine into an uncomfortable position that could lead to pain.
Adjust your chair height so your feet touch the ground, and your knees and hips are level. Keep your arms at the same height as your desk. If your feet don’t reach the floor, use a stool. Keep your elbows close to your body and bend your arms into an L-shape. Avoid extending your arms too far, as it can strain your arm and shoulder muscles.
Ensure that your weight is evenly spread on your hips. Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle, making sure they are level with or slightly below your hips.
Keep your feet flat on the ground. If you’re wearing heeled shoes, it’s better to take them off for more comfort. If your feet don’t touch the ground, use a footrest. Adjustable ergonomic footrests allow you to find the right tilt and height to align with your natural posture.
Avoid sitting with your legs crossed, as this can decrease blood flow and lead to muscle strain.
Sit comfortably and place your computer screen directly in front of you. Reach out and position the monitor so it’s about the length of your arm away.
Now, make sure the top of your screen is no more than 2 inches above your eye level. This is important to avoid neck and eye strain. You can use stacks of books to raise your monitor if needed. If you prefer a more formal solution, consider using a monitor desk stand, which is a simple device to help you adjust the height.
Position your keyboard right in front of your computer. Make sure there’s about 4 to 6 inches of space between the keyboard edge and the desk, allowing your wrists to comfortably rest while typing.
If your keyboard is high, causing your wrists to bend uncomfortably while typing, consider using a padded wrist rest. These ergonomic pads can help keep your hands aligned with the keyboard, preventing muscle fatigue and pain that may result from awkward typing positions. Avoid straining your wrists to ensure a more comfortable typing experience.
Make sure your computer mouse is on the same level as your keyboard and easy to reach. Avoid stretching to reach things, as it can make your muscles tired and strained.
When using the mouse, keep your wrist straight, your upper arm close to your body, and your hands slightly below your elbows. Using an ergonomic mouse can help prevent wrist strain by fitting the natural shape of your hand.
Keep the stuff you use often, like your stapler, phone, or notepad, within easy reach when you’re sitting. Reaching out for things all the time can strain your muscles, and doing it a lot might cause joint pain. So, it’s better to have your everyday items close by to avoid any discomfort.
Sitting for too long can slow down blood flow and make your muscles tired. To avoid this, make sure to take regular breaks. Stand up and move around, away from your desk if possible.
During your breaks, try doing simple exercises like raising your heels or shrugging your shoulders to get your blood flowing. If you have enough space, you can also do lunges or squats.
It’s better to take short breaks throughout the day instead of just a few long ones. If you can, take a quick break every 30 minutes, lasting one to two minutes. At the very least, make sure to stand up and move around every hour. And remember, it’s essential to keep your body active to stay healthy.
Many jobs today require a lot of sitting, which isn’t great for your health. But, you can make a big difference by simply sitting better. Get some ergonomic products that support your body and learn how to sit in a way that’s good for you. This can help prevent muscle and bone problems, saving you from injuries and discomfort in the long run. It’s like an investment in your health for your entire career!
Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Correction to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain through this article or others.
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