There is no escaping the fact that much of our work today is done while we are seated at our desk. We are logging more and more hours of screen time, our work days have become longer, and our postures are sufferings the effects. However, just because you sit behind a desk for long hours doesn’t mean you must suffer back and neck pain. There are a few simple reminders of how to improve your posture while you are seated at your desk. These should help strengthen your overall back muscles, improve your posture and help ease some of the pain you have been feeling.
Choose a chair that supports your back, if that is not possible, make sure to own a proper lumbar support for your lower back. Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor. If you have adjustable armrests, make sure your arms gently rest on them with your shoulders relaxed.
Your monitor should be placed in front of you, about an arm's length away and the top of your screen should be at eye level. Place your monitor behind your keyboard. This placement should help with any strain in your neck from a constant up or down motion to read your monitor.
This may be the most important aspect of relieving your neck or back pain. If you are chained to your desk for nine to ten hours a day your posture is bound to start to worsen. Proper posture has been shown to lead to more confidence, as well as presenting to others that you have your life “put together.”
Make sure your feet are flat on the floor and that your knees are at a comfortable 90 degree bend. Your shoulders should be relaxed and your arms on the armrest at a comfortable 90 degree angle. Make sure your line of vision is directly perpendicular to your monitor. Finally your lower back should be supported by your chair back or a proper lumbar support.
It is also important that you get up from your desk every thirty minutes to an hour. You can take a walk or do some simple lunges at your desk.
Little changes to your posture will make for big changes in your back. Poor sitting posture, like slouching or leaning way back, over time will lead to pain or injury. Fortunately, most of these issues are preventable, and regardless of your size there are ways to set up your desk correctly and improve your posture.
Like most things in life, it won’t feel comfortable in the beginning. But stick with it, in the end your body will thank you.
~Sean Hogan has coached hockey at the international and collegiate levels for over ten years. He has spoken at numerous events about culture building, goal setting and healthy lifestyles. He holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Recreation and Sports Science with an emphasis on Coaching Education from OHIO University.