Improving Desk Posture – Tips for a Healthier Workstation
There is no denying that due to the nature of our busy modern working lives, so many of us spend long hours each day in front of a desk at a computer. This coupled with the stresses of deadlines, meetings, telephones, emails, traffic and even the commute increase the demands we place upon our bodies, leading to tension and pain within our neck, shoulders and back to the level that we are almost crippled under this weight of agony.
Unfortunately the solution is not as simple as throwing the computer out the window, telling the boss your taking a lifetime holiday and like ‘Kane’ finding your inner peace by ‘walking the earth’. We have responsibilities and enjoy a lifestyle that comes with them and we require a means to be provided for.
So if it is not possible to completely change our work-life circumstances, how do we manage and possibly even alleviate this crippling pain that many of us suffer from? Do we reach for the pain killers, anti-inflammatory’s, topological creams or gels? Well you can. However, these options will only numb the suffering for a period and mask the pain, they cannot treat the cause or heal the injured area.
Why not try these tips that can help to prevent the development of tension and pain within your workspace reduce that which you are suffering from:
1. Assess your workstation:
– Is your workstations set-up ergonomically correct for your body and posture? Your chair should be adjusted at a good height so that your feet are flat on the floor. Your knees are bent to 90 degrees and your backrest is set so that your hips are flexed at 90 degrees also, offering you good lumbar support so that you are neither slouching or leaning back into a reclining position. Your desk is at a correct height with your chair so that your shoulders are relaxed away from your ears with your elbows bent at 90 degrees, comfortably resting beside your body. Your forearms should be a straight line from your elbows, through your wrists to your hands and able to come to rest on your desk in front of your keyboard or laptop palm surface. Your chair height and desk space should also be enough so to accommodate your thighs under the desktop when your chair is pulled beneath. If possible, it is also recommended to have a screen level with the height of your head so that you do not have to be looking down and putting unwanted pressure on your neck. This is not likely possible if using a laptop.
This work station position places the most minimal amount of stress upon the spine, allowing the neck shoulder and back muscles to relax into a more natural anatomical position to decrease the promotion of tension and pain.
2. Move your body:
– Our bodies are designed for movement. When our muscles contract and relax and move our skeleton they perform a whole range of functions including feeding all parts of the body with fresh oxygen and nutrients that it requires to function happily and aiding in the flushing of toxins that can pool in areas around our body during inactivity. So try these simple movements whilst at your desk or get up and away from your desk every hour or so for five minutes and put your body through a simple range of movement exercises that also include a forward bend and/or flexing at the hips. The fresh oxygen that is fed around the body will rejuvenate and invigorate you and possibly alleviating the need for that afternoon caffeine injection
3. Don’t ever eat lunch at your desk:
– Nothing is ever that important that you cannot sever the cables that have you attached to your workstation. Make a deal with yourself to never eat at your desk. The simple act of getting away from your terminal will help to reduce your stress levels and allow you to re-focus. If you can also get outside to get some fresh air, even better. This certainly helps to clear the mind and will allow you to face the tasks you have to do for the afternoon with a renewed energy. So no sandwiches over the keyboard…
4. Invest in regular massage:
– Massage is a gift that you can only give to your body. It can help to combat the rigours, stresses and workspace environmental challenges that we all face on a daily basis. Aches such as a sore neck, shoulders and back and poor postural health due to long hours spent at a desk in front of a computer, can be eased, managed and even erased through that gift of massage. So many of us are happy to spend £60 at the pub on a Friday night every week to de-stress. Why not take that money and invest it, once a month, into something that your body truly will benefit from and thank you for that gift that you have chosen to bestow upon it.
These simple, yet important tips will put you well onto a path that will encourage the reduction of neck, back and shoulder pain at your workstation and throughout your daily life.
Here is a sneaky tip to give yourself a little massage treat whilst you are working at your desk…
Take a tennis or cricket ball with you to work and whilst you are seated at your desk, kick off your shoes, place the ball under the arch of your foot and roll it around all the under side of each foot at as much pressure as you like and for as long as you want to. Swapping from foot to foot. Not only does this feel amazing, it helps to reduce stress, increase blood flow to the lower limbs and it loosens the hamstrings and gluteal muscles that then intern reduce the tension within the lower back and upward through the spine, shoulders and neck. No body will be aware that you are giving this little treat to yourself, however it is recommended that you are wearing clean and fresh smelling socks.
So work on these tips, use as many or as few as you like and enjoy the benefits of sitting straighter, feeling less tired and having more focus.
This information was brought to you complimentary by Fibre Tense Massage for the benefits of everyone.