Good posture at work promotes good health

Posted on: June 17th, 2020 by Taylor Riley, PT, DPT

Good posture has always been critical to promoting healthy bones and joints, but it’s top of mind lately as more individuals are working from home with less-than-ideal office setups. Focusing on good posture allows your body to be in proper alignment when performing daily tasks such as working or exercising and is important for improved circulation and lung capacity.

When practicing bad posture, we tend to hunch or slouch forward. That puts a lot of pressure and stress on our internal organs, reducing their ability to function at their best. Bad posture also tends to load our joints incorrectly, causing increased wear and tear. It can also lead to neck, back, and shoulder pain, pain and discomfort in your hands, wrists, and elbows, and headaches.

By maintaining better posture during the workday, we can reduce the risk of injuries, leading to overall better health. Set up your desk or workstation to be more ergonomically suited to promote good posture throughout your day and take steps to improve your posture by following some additional best practices.

  • Be aware of your posture and recognize if any sort of muscle or joint pain can be associated with it.
  • Ensure your computer is at eye level and positioned directly in front of you, so you don’t have to tilt and turn your head to perform daily tasks.
  • Use a chair that has a back and then ensure you are keeping your shoulders rested against the back of the chair and you are not slouching forward. If you find yourself slouching, a lumbar roll can help you keep good posture.
  • Keep your feet on the ground and try to avoid crossing your legs, which can lead to bad posture.
  • Try to eliminate using multiple devices while sitting at your desk. Constantly checking your phone can lead to text neck, caused when individuals are looking down and leaning their neck forward too frequently.
  • Get up and move throughout the workday and change positions frequently. You can take a brief walk, stretch or even complete a quick household task to achieve this goal.

Practicing good posture takes attention and time to perfect. With a little diligence and by taking small steps, you can be on your way to better health.

For longer-term needs, our Occupational Health Center works with employers on ergonomic assessments and training to make sure workplaces are safe for employees. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort related to different work conditions the past few months, call us at 815-398-9491 to talk through symptoms and schedule an appointment.

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