Posture in the workplace

Improving Posture: Workplace Edition

Last month, I shared an article about the basics of improving posture, which is just as important as nutrition and excercise. As a Corporate Fitness Manager, I see people every day sitting properly at their workspace but we all know people out there who slouch, sit too near or too far from their computer screen or adjust their legs in an awkward position. After all, many in the workforce spend 8+ hours a day, five days per week facing a computer screen — we ought to do it right!

Whether you are a part-time personal trainer and have a traditional desk job Monday through Friday or you see clients suffer from poor posture as a result of their workspace, these are substantial tips for everyone!

The Layout of Your Space
Always think…adjust your work space to you…as opposed to you adjusting to your workspace.

If you use a desktop computer, positioning the monitor and keyboard properly is easier compared to a laptop — you have a bit more freedom!

Improving Posture: Workplace EditionLet’s get started by examining the position of your monitor, keyboard and mouse:
-The monitor should be placed directly in front of you, with its top no higher than eye level. Because our eyes naturally gaze downward, that’s the best way to keep them relaxed, which will prevent annoying headaches and unnecessary eye strain.

-The keyboard should be directly in front of the monitor so you don’t have to frequently rotate your head and neck.

-The keyboard and the mouse should be close enough to prevent excessive reaching which strains the arms and shoulders.

-Avoid eye strain by making sure that your monitor is not too close — it should be at least an arm’s length away.

-Take steps to control screen glare when applicable by not placing the monitor in front of a window or a bright background.

-Want to give your eyes a break? There is nothing wrong with resting your eyes on occasion by looking at objects at a distance! 

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Sitting Doesn’t Have to Be Boring
Proper Posture at DeskIf you are not lucky enough to acquire a standing desk at your office, that’s OK — a stability ball will get you out of a chair! If you are a trainer and hoping to inspire clients with this option, retailing various sized stability balls and encouraging men or women to bring it to the office is extremely smart! If they are hesitant, tell them they could be a trendsetter at work and share these interesting facts, too:

-There is extra movement while on a stability ball as opposed to a traditional chair. The more someone moves, the more calories he or she burns.

-Sitting in a chair can negatively impact core strength, but on the other hand, a stability ball can sculpt the core over time. It succeeds because the person is no longer relying on the chair’s back to remain upright.

-Because sitting in a chair causes a decrease in circulation, a stability ball (even when used for a half hour to an hour per day) can assist blood circulation throughout the body, which is (obviously) extremely important!

-In most situations, stress levels decrease when on a stability ball. It will bring about a sense of relaxation and lower the risk for stress-related issues like depression and/or high-blood pressure.

If it’s time to say so-long to a desk chair and hello to a stability ball, I recommend alternating between sitting on two throughout the day, if possible. For starters, try it for 20 to 30 minutes and always have the ball inflated to its proper height where the thighs are parallel to the floor when seated.

Bonus fact: We have an employee here at ELIVATE who welcomed a baby this past December. She sits on a stability ball while she rocks the infant to sleep and said it works like a charm! I thought I’d share for everyone with little ones at home.

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