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8 Steps to Improve Ergonomics in the Office

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Maintaining good posture throughout the day at work is critical for our comfort and well being. Poor posture can cause aches, pains and back problems. Unfortunately though, thinking about the way in which we are sitting is something that is often forgotten in our list of priorities when we are drowning in a sea of deadlines, projects, and conference calls.

Fortunately, though, there are only a few little actions that need to be taken in order to ensure that you are sitting correctly at work, and improve your overall way of being seated. This article will provide a little food for thought. The very last thing you want is to be trying to seek workers compensation as a result of workplace injuries caused by poor posture.

How To Improve Posture at Work

Sitting down all day is rough, but here are eight simple ways to improve your posture at work.

1. Correct Yourself and Remember to Sit up Straight

Maintaining a good posture while working really is as straightforward as sitting up straight with our shoulders pushed back. Admittedly that is easier said than done though. Chances are that most of us find ourselves slouching and craning our necks over our computer screens at some point throughout the day. As long as you make a mental note about this and correct yourself every time you find yourself slouching, you are on your way to better posture.

2. Ensure that Your Ears and Shoulders are Aligned

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It is easy to say that you should be sitting up straight at work. How can you be sure that you are sitting correctly though? One good measure of this is to make sure that your ears and shoulders are aligned. This may sound a little obscure, but it is a method to make sure that you are neither leaning too far forward or too far backward in your chair.

3. Keep Your Feet Firmly on the Ground

Good posture dictates that you should keep your feet flat on the floor. That means no crossed legs and no weird positions where you are sitting on your legs like a meditative monk. This not only aids your posture, but it also reduces your likelihood of experiencing ailments such as varicose veins. If it’s not comfortable to place your feet completely flat on the floor, you can also incorporate a footrest.

4. Set Up Your Workstation Correctly

Though often forgotten or dismissed as unimportant, there are several ways in which your workstation should be assembled in order to promote good posture. For example, your chair should offer appropriate lumbar support, and your monitor should be at eye level so that you don’t have to twist your neck. Similarly, your mouse and your keyboard should be within a simple reaching distance. All of these things help you to maintain a good posture and ensure that you don’t find yourself bending and stretching into weird positions at work.

5. Get up and Walk Around Every Now and Then

It is important to take regular breaks at work for many reasons. Maintaining good posture is just one of those. The reality is that even if you are completely strict with yourself about sitting correctly, you are going to feel uncomfortable or restless after some time. Getting up from your desk to stroll around gives your body the much-needed exercise it needs. When you sit down again, it will be easy to maintain a position of good posture.

6. Do Exercises at Your Desk

Okay, so you can’t exactly roll out your yoga mat or start doing ab crunches at work. What you can do though is a few little exercises that can be done from the comfort of your desk. Many exercises can be done while seated focus on loosening up the back and shoulder muscles.

Exercises range from stretches (for example, sitting tall and stretching your right ear to your right shoulder, then repeating with your left), to doing shoulder rolls while seated.

7. Sit on a Supportive, Appropriate Chair

One of the most important factors when it comes to maintaining a good posture at work is ensuring that the chair that you are seated on is suitable. Ideally, you will have an ergonomic desk chair that offers sufficient lumbar support. At the very least, it will be a comfortable, padded office chairs. Plastic chairs or stools/benches with zero support are absolute no-nos.

8. Consider Buying a Lumbar Support Pillow

Perhaps you already have a somewhat supportive chair at the office but you don’t feel 100% comfortable. In such instances, a  lumbar support pillow is a nice thing to consider. Ultimately, your comfort and safety in the workplace is the responsibility of your employer and so the company that you work for may be able to provide this for you. Lumbar support pillows offer additional back support and the reduced likelihood of back pain. Memory foam versions of these pillows are available, offering comfort and support that is perfectly crafted to the individual’s needs.

The best way to improve and maintain your good posture at work is to simply be aware of what is required in order to be sitting or standing well. When you catch yourself slouching, simply correct yourself. After a while, many of these pointers detailed within this article will begin to feel almost like second nature to you. You will not be thinking that you don’t have time to worry about your posture while you are busy working on assignments as you will already be absent mindedly doing desk stretches and shoulder rolls while multitasking on a conference call!

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John Meeks
John is a freelance writer specializing in finance and entrepreneurship. He also consults clients about financial management and small business solutions.

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