Health,  Health Tips

Three ways to fix your sitting posture today

Long hours sitting in front of your computer day after day can cause long-term effects like pain or decreased motion. Here are three quick things to start doing today to fix your sitting posture today.

Fix your workstation
Until you’re able to get a desk chair or workstation that is more ergonomically correct, work with what you have. Take a look at the picture below to see what adjustments you should make. If you don’t have a backrest, roll up a towel or even your sweater, and place it on the small of your back. Keep your feet flat on the floor by adjusting your chair height, or using book or a shoe box (at home) to level yourself out. Sit up tall, but not like you’re a drill sergeant, keep your back muscles relaxed.


Reduce repetitive motions
If you’re clicking your mouse all day everyday, your risk of injury to your hand, wrist, arm, and shoulder increases. To avoid inflaming your tendons, developing bursitis or getting carpal tunnel, try making shortcuts so you’re clicking less. Your mouse isn’t going anywhere, so loosen up your grip. Keep your wrist straight and rest them (hover) over the keys or a wrist rest when typing. This way, the bigger muscles of your shoulder and back can take some of the stress off your wrist. Don’t stretch to reach the keys that are a little bit further. Move your entire hand to reach keys like backspace, enter or shift. 

Stretch it out
The muscles in your neck are pretty small. They are constantly firing (working) to keep your face from crashing into your computer screen. They get overworked easily causing you neck pain. Here are some quick stretches you can do while sitting at your desk.

  • Chin tucks
Image: Dr. Drew DeMann

Motion: While sitting in your chair, take one finger and use it to gently tuck in your chin, almost like you’re giving yourself a double chin. You should feel the stretch in the back of your neck. 

Time: Hold for 10-15 seconds

Reps: 3 times a day, 10 reps each.

  • Side bends

Motion:  While sitting upright, tilt your R ear towards your R shoulder until you feel a stretch on the L side of your neck. Repeat on the opposite side.

Time: Hold for 30 seconds

Reps: 3 times a day, 10 reps each.

  • Levator scap stretch 

Motion: Rotate your head 45 degrees to the R side. Drop your head and look into your armpit. You should feel a stretch on the L, slightly off the middle of your neck to the top of your shoulder blade. Repeat on the opposite side. You can also use your hand to gently increase the stretch. This is great for those who find themselves constantly cradling the phone between their cheek and shoulder. 

Time: Hold for 30 seconds

Reps: 3 times a day, 10 reps each.

Get up and take a break every once in awhile. Give your eyes a rest and walk around, but don’t forget to come back before your boss starts sending a search party for you.

* Stop the exercise immediately if you feel dizzy or pain radiating to your arm. 
Always avoid holding your breath! Some people find counting out loud helps to avoid doing this.
Remember stretching should never be painful.


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