5 Ways To Improve Posture When Sitting At A Desk
Most of us know that our posture is very important for the future health of our backs, but when you work at an office every day, it’s easy to fall into bad habits. Here are 5 quick fixes for improving posture when you sit at a desk.
1) Support Your Lower Back
You can reduce the strain on your back with lower back support. This means you should use an adjustable chair so that you can find the perfect height and tilt to support your lower back. If you can’t immediately get your hands on a better chair, use a cushion to increase support in that area.
2) Change the Position of Your Screen
Adjust your computer screen so that the top is roughly level with your eyes. This will help you naturally sit better as you look at the screen throughout the day. It also helps to make sure that there is no glare or reflection on the screen so that you don’t have to strain to see it.
3) Adjust Your Height
An adjustable chair is very important to ensure you’re at the right height for typing. Your arms should be straight and parallel to the floor. Any higher or lower and you could be damaging your posture. Optimum posture also means having your feet flat on the floor, but you may need to use a footrest to help. Remember, crossing your legs isn’t good for posture.
4) Change Your Phone
If you use the phone a lot as part of your job, then you can end up straining your neck and back muscles. In this case, a headset may be a better choice for you. Even if you don’t use the phone often enough to justify this change, remember to keep your phone – and any other items you regularly use – in easy reach so that you don’t need to stretch and twist to reach them.
5) Take Care of Your Wrists
You should leave a gap at the front of the desk, before the keyboard, to let your wrists rest when you’re not typing. It also helps to use a padded mousemat to reduce strain, particularly if you experience pain in your wrist when clicking the mouse.
Although not all of us have the benefit of being able to choose the desks and chairs we use in our office, we can all do small things to improve our posture and reduce the possible chance of injury now and in the future.
As public and private schools continue to lose funding the first classes to be cut are physical education and the sports programs. Unfortunately, although saving some money, schools have unwittingly contributed to the continued rise in obesity in the U.S. population. And even when physical education is offered to the children it is never enough to meet the federal guidelines of at least 1 hour of activity each day of the week.
In an attempt to improve the overall health of children and adults much media attention has been given to the decline in physical fitness of the population and the need for an increase in physical activity to decrease the ever rising health risks that plague a sedentary population.
Technology and computers have also contributed to a population of sedentary children and teens since many of the daily activities that once required physical motion can now be accomplished with the press of a button such as washing dishes, mowing lawns (self-propel) down to changing the channel on the television.
Some parents and children are turning to fitness classes for kids to increase the amount of activity that children get as well as the time to bond together over a specific activity. Parents can begin by role modeling physical activity for their children. Relying on the school system isn’t an option since only 8% of schools currently have a physical education class according to the National Education Association.
The International Health, Racquet and Sports club Association (IHRSA) says that children are the second fastest growing population in gyms around the country. The YMCA is one club that caters specifically to families and single parents encouraging the children and adults to workout and take classes together.
Gold’s Gym is another facility that is offering classes specifically for children with the added incentive of events and competitions at the conclusion of the class sessions. Junior Jumpers is their gymnastics class and Sport Aerobics Program is popular because it combines dance, gymnastics and aerobics.
Around the country other fitness clubs are engaging in activities with children. These classes range from aerobics classes specifically designed to accommodate the needs and requirements of children, to dance, spinning and in Brandon Florida the Athletic Club connects children as young as 5 in sporting games to increase their heart rate and improve their cardiovascular fitness.
The classes that work best for children keep them occupied in both body and mind so that they aren’t even aware that they are working out. The motivating factors for adults to continue to plug away at the treadmill or elliptical trainer don’t work as well for the young child or early adult. Their ability to comprehend future consequences related to present events is extremely limited. Therefore making the exercise fun and exciting has much better results.
However, we all may want to take that piece of information about working out from children and strive to make our own efforts at exercise and physical activity more energizing and motivating. As adults, we may be able to understand the consequences but that isn’t always the best motivator to keep plugging away when our minds would rather be reading a book!
Achieving better fitness and health is high on the list of “things to do someday” for most people. The overall health benefits of exercise are wide-ranging and impressive. However, it is easy to let our busy multi-tasking lives get in the way of doing what is necessary to achieve optimal health.
The new year brings new resolutions to commit to exercising; however, many of us allow other life obligations fill up our time available for achieving better health. This is normal, but not the ideal approach if you hope to live a longer and healthier life.
The key to exercising to achieve better fitness and health is to find ways to exercise even with a busy schedule and wherever we are.
The following are four tips to help you fit exercise into your busy schedule:
1. Exercise Wherever You Are – it is possible for you to exercise wherever you are. If there is a chair available, for example, you can use it to do elevated push-ups, or dips. You can even grab a full can of soup, one for each hand, to add a little weight to virtually any workout. A rolled up towel is an excellent aid to stretching exercises. But the best piece of exercise equipment is with you wherever you go, and that’s you. If you are motivated you can exercise anywhere with a little creativity.
2. Small Things Add Up – you cannot go from flab to fit in a few days even though many fad diets try to convince you otherwise. The good news is that you can start to see big results from small changes. Everything you do will either benefit or impair your ability to get in shape. Simple things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, choosing a parking spot that is farther away than usual, or walking to complete nearby errands will have a cumulative effect.
3. Discuss With Your Employer – You may be surprised to find that your employer already has an exercise area, or perhaps free passes to a nearby gym. If not, suggest adding an exercise room. Some companies have a health or wellness director; use them as a go-between. If you feel emboldened enough, you could also suggest a brief part of each day when the entire company takes a 5 minute exercise break.
4. Keep Moving – The whole idea here is to keep your body moving. Do leg lifts before you get out of bed, get a telephone headset so you can walk around the room while talking, practice isometrics if you are stuck in traffic. Anything you can do to add some movement into your routine will help. Any time throughout the day that you notice you’re sitting still, get moving.
All it takes is motivation and a little creativity to find a way to fit exercise into your busy schedule. Take action with the above tips and come up with some of your own. No matter what your situation, if you stop and look around you will find many ways that you can add exercise to your day to help you achieve better fitness and health.