Did you know that your daily grind behind a desk may be harming your health? Spending too much time seated at a desk has been linked to negative health effects, such as an increased risk of diabetes and cancer, as well as joint and back problems.
The human body is not designed to sit for prolonged periods of time. Regular exercise and periodic standing breaks throughout the day are a good idea. There are many quick-and-easy exercises you can do at your desk, plus many ways to incorporate more movement into your day, like taking the stairs or walking on your lunch break.
Here are some tips to keep in mind while you're stuck behind a desk that will help you decrease the stress on your body:
- When you're stuck sitting, how you sit in your chair can be just as important as how long you sit. Keeping your joints at 90-degree angles is one of the most important tenets of perfect desk posture. Your eyes should be about level with the top of the computer screen or the top third of the monitor.
- Face the screen straight on. Avoid turning abruptly to view multiple monitors, your phone, or other things in the office. Moving your shoulders relative to your hips can create stress.
- Leaning on an arm rest can help keep you from slouching, but could also cause you to painfully scrunch up your shoulders. Arm rests should be positioned at a height where you can comfortably keep your shoulders back and down, while still being able to reach the keyboard or mouse without stretching.
- Keep your back supported. Many newer office chairs are designed with lower-back support built in, but if yours isn't, simply placing a pillow at the small of your back can help. The idea is to maintain the natural, reverse-C shaped curve in the lower back.
- Raise or lower your chair, if needed. If your knees are higher than your hips, your chair is probably too low, while knees that are much lower than the hips mean your chair is probably too high. Ideally, your knees will be just slightly lower than your hips, allowing your thighs to be parallel to the ground and your lower legs perpendicular.
Keep these tips in mind while you're working, or even using the computer at home, so that you submit your body to the least amount of stress possible.
Do you have any good office exercises or tips that help you? Please hit reply to tell me about them. Also, feel free to pass this on to your co-workers, friends, family, and anyone else who could benefit from these tips.