Like most Americans, you are probably spending several hours sitting in front of a computer every day. Now, with the increase in people working from home, you may not even be working from a desk anymore. Many people without home offices find themselves working from their kitchen counter or even their couch. While hunching over your computer screen may feel more comfortable than sitting up straight, it is creating long-term negative effects on your body.
Why Posture Matters:
Having poor posture can negatively affect your body more than you might think. One of the more obvious benefits is good posture can alleviate chronic low back pain by taking pressure off the discs and vertebrae in your spinal cord. Additionally, improving your posture can make headaches less frequent. Hunching over at your desk can put a lot of strain on your neck and shoulders thus producing tension headaches.
Sitting up straight can also improve breathing since your lungs can fully expand when you are not hunched over. Similarly, keeping your body elongated and straight allows for better blood flow since your organs are not compressed.
Not only will fixing your posture reduce pain and improve your physical health, but it can also improve your mental health. Sitting correctly stops your muscles from having to do extra work, thus giving you more energy and improving your mood. Having good posture can also make you look and feel more confident.
Here are some ways that you can improve your posture while sitting in front of a computer screen.
Have a Supportive Chair:
It is important to make sure that your chair is properly supporting your back. If your current chair is old and worn down or you find it hard to sit comfortably for an hour or two at a time, then you may want to consider finding a more ergonomic chair.
When sitting in your chair, your hips should go against the back of your chair. To help with this you can place a small cushion at the hollow of your back.
Keep your feet flat on the floor. Many people tend to cross or elevate their legs while sitting for long periods. However, this puts uneven pressure on your back and legs. Your knees should be in line or slightly above your hips and your elbows should rest at a 90-degree angle.
Be mindful of the position of your head. Your head and chin should not sit in front of your shoulders. Keeping your screens at eye level can help ensure that your neck is not being strained.
If your work requires you to sit at your desk for hours at a time, it is important to utilize breaks to get up and stretch. Sitting in one position for too long can cause muscle fatigue and discomfort. Walking around for a couple of minutes can help reduce strain on your body.
If you are experiencing back pain or muscle fatigue, then contact Synergy Physical Therapy and Wellness. We specialize in many areas including back pain and want you to live pain-free!