It’s Thursday, it’s 10am and you’re absolutely spent. You battled your way onto public transportation at 8am, or crawled down the Dual Carriageway for a good hour. So, now you’re sitting at your desk, one leg wrapped around the other and your bum planted somewhere in the middle of your seat. Sure, you could sit straight and put your feet firmly on the ground but this 45-degree angle between your backside and the chair frame is sooooo comfortable…
Well you know what? We say, sit up! Here’s why.
Bad posture makes you tired: Your energy levels depend on various factors and naturally, they ebb and flow throughout the day. Sitting up straight might sound like a chore but slouching is a known source of fatigue that causes more than mere backache.
The facts: Every time you slouch, your bones are out of alignment, which means your internal organs are out of step. This misalignment causes poor digestion and increases pressure on the heart. It can also cause arthritis in the long term, while contributing to stress and headaches in the short term due to increased pressure on the neck and facial muscles.
How do you know if your posture is good or bad? If you’re standing, then glance down at your feet. If you can see your shoes without craning your neck, then you have good posture – Congratulations! If you’re sitting down, then your head should be lined up over your body, so your ears are directly over your shoulders. If your head’s sticking out, then you need to rethink your position on that chair.
Easy ways to get perfect posture at your desk: We all fall victim to The Crimes Against Posture charter; staring at our screens and slumping over our desks like Quasimodo with a laptop are the norm. But there are simple and immediate ways to tackle your posture woes.
1) Put your feet flat on the floor.
2) Place a small pillow at the small of your back. This will support your spine and mitigate undue back strain.
3) Place your elbows at your side and touch your shoulders with your hands – an easy one to do next time your webpage isn’t loading or a tweet isn’t sending.
Handy gadgets to get your back on track: While you might have every intention to sit straight with your feet on the floor, sometimes a little outside help is called for.
Backjoy Posture+ works by lifting the pelvis forward to correctly align the spine. This allows the body’s weight to be properly distributed, alleviating pain and strain on the spine.
The PhysioRoom Seat Wedge Posture Spine Cushion: As names go, this one’s a mouthful but as claims go, this one does a lot for a small price. The inflatable wedge-shaped cushion works by tilting the pelvis forward, which helps to prevent slouching – sort of like an MBT shoe for the bum!
Still not sold? Statistics show that people who slouch are deemed ‘less attractive’ by their co-workers. Okay, so we made this up and there isn’t a shred of evidence to corroborate our theory but we’re certain that if we grabbed a pen and rounded up everyone in the office, they’d agree with us, so sit up straight, readers.
Michelle Doyle is sitting poker straight at her desk right now @michelleanstar