Had this question asked in my clinic this week that I wanted to share with you (It’s a common question I often get asked about posture)…
’Trevor, I’ve recently had repetitive strain injury from work and although I’ve been given a wrist brace for when I’m on the computer, I still seem to suffer from bad posture. What would help improve my posture at work??…’ – Leanna, 49
A lot of people underestimate the power of great posture and the advantages it can provide to your lifestyle.
Think of it in this way, a lot of your time is spent at work doing whatever it is that you do, but if you have bad posture throughout your day, in the long run, it can have a serious effect.
Some people can spend hours either at a desk or standing up at work and then hours of having bad posture can add up to something serious if it is not dealt with.
Here’s a few ways to have better posture and ultimately, make it a healthy habit in your lifestyle.
This tip might seem quite obvious but the first thing I’d recommend is to keep your body straight. If you have an office job then adjust your seating if you are sat down for a long period of time. Remember the chair’s features are there for a reason, to make you feel supported!
Sit up straight and adjust the chair so that it feels comfortable and supportive. Sometimes, depending on how long you are sitting, even if you are sitting in a good position, it can feel tiring. If this is the case, then try shifting towards the front of your seat with a straight back from time to time. This can sometimes help ease your back muscles and stop you from slouching.
If you stand up at work, then standing straight really does help. I know at times it can feel like a relief to rest your bodyweight on one leg while resting the rest of your body on a desk or worktop. Sound familiar? Unfortunately this is pretty much how not to stand. Ultimately all you are doing to your body is putting strain on particular muscles as you ‘rest’. When standing, make sure your body weight is spread evenly to the front, back and sides of the feet.
Another great tip is, if you have a lot to do at your desk…after 20 minutes of sitting… get up and move! Yes you could finish off that one last email but I think we both know that, that one email will lead to something else. As a result, you will not only be glued to your chair all day, but may end up putting more pressure on the neck and back.
The best time to get up and move is when you start to feel your body slouch a little and find it hard to keep in a comfortable position. Think of it as a coffee break for your body. After a few minutes you’ll come back to your desk refreshed and ready to start working.
If like Leanna, you are thinking of using posture-friendly props, then great. We have our recommendation too. And that is Intelliskin posture garments, and you can learn about them HERE. And you can take advantage of medical provider pricing. They can make a big difference to your posture at work, as we’ve had several of our commuters, and “desk jockeys” see big results.
There are many other items that will help you at work too. Footrests, back supports and even a pillow can help ease back pain. Even positioning your computer screen/s in level to your resting eye position, will help avoid straining the neck with the head tilted forward.
If you don’t work in an office and are based more outdoors, then even using correct footwear, bags and backpacks can help minimize back strain and can encourage good posture.
So my answer to whether a device, support or brace can help is this- yes, they can help ease pain from poor posture, but remember to putting the other tips in place can multiply the results.
The solution lies not only in putting these actions in place, but also committing to these tips in the long run. It may not be a quick fix but you will be easing your pain in the long-term. This is one of the healthy habits that everyone needs in their working day.
And if you are wanting more direct help with your posture, or after reading this you think there may be a postural link between your elbow or wrist pain, then give us a call and chat with one of our providers at 888.619.2885