Do you currently work at a job where you are constantly sitting or working at a computer screen for a long period of time?
When working on your computer or desk for long periods of time, ever notice how sore your neck, mid-back, and low back get? You try and try to find a comfortable position but can never find it?
After long periods of sitting we naturally tend to lean our necks and heads forward, slump our shoulders and round our lower back. We all have a picture in our minds of “perfect” posture, however, I feel it may be a little overrated. “Perfect” posture is difficult to maintain and almost impossible to keep.
The important part of posture is to perform a “reset” every so often. It’s important to just have the awareness of HOW we are sitting. Having this awareness allows us to constantly keep our posture in mind.
So here are 7 tips to help you improve your posture and to help you when you are having pain or tightness when working:
- Always take a standing/walking break every half hour or so. Doing so for even a couple minutes really helps in taking you out of that “bad” posture. Make an excuse to get up every so often!
- When sitting, have the computer monitor at eye level. Having the computer at eye level takes strain off the back of your neck from looking down constantly. So even if you have to prop the monitor up with books or papers, make sure it’s not too low.
- Place a towel rolled up on the lower part of your back. Doing this will help in maintaining the natural curve of your lower back and will give the tactile cue to sit up a little straighter.
- Make sure your feet are flat on the floor. Doing so gives you a solid base and prevents you from leaning too far forward or back.
- Keep your knees at 90 degrees. This helps keep you close enough to the desk so that you’re not leaning too far forward with your neck or lower back.
6. Perform chin tucks every 15-30 minutes. This exercise is EASY to do at your desk and helps to “reset” your cervical posture (aka gets your neck into better position). Check out our IG AlphaPhysios Video for the exercise!
7. Perform the doorway stretch. This will help open up the chest and decrease “tightness” within the front of the shoulders. Hold for 30 seconds for 2-3 reps.
Try these tips out and you should see a difference in how you feel at the end of your work day!
Dr. Jomar Farrales, PT, DPT