Did you know there are only 25 work days until Christmas?! Holey moley, that means a lot of work to get through before then! Whilst you may be spending more and more time at your computer to tie up loose ends before the silly season, we don’t want you to start your holidays in pain.
Office workers spend an average of 77% of their working day sitting (Stand up Australia,2009).
Recently the phrase ‘sitting is the new smoking’ has been doing the rounds with a huge focus on sitting and its relationship to obesity, but sitting can have more effects than just putting on weight. Sitting for prolonged periods with poor posture impacts various aspects of your health especially the health of your neck and back. Sitting at work is not the only culprit. Look around you next time you’re on public transport – how many of us are spending our time looking down at our phones!
Poor posture throughout the day leads to many negative side effects, and it can increase the pressure going through the spine by 30%. When you sit in any position for prolonged periods, over time changes will start to occur in your muscle and ligaments, and this can start to put strain on the body’s supporting framework. Dr. Adalbert I. Kapandji suggests that for every inch that your head moves forward in relation to your spine it increases the load through the joints by as much as 10 pounds!
Some of the side effects off poor posture include:
- Neck Pain
- Jaw pain
- Eye fatigue
- Upper & Lower back pain
- Decreased Lung Capacity
- Changes in mood
Strategies to improve posture
- Get up and move around instead of sending that email to the person in the office next to you get up and have a chat to them. A pedometer is also a good motivator. Try to aim for 10,000 steps per day.
- Avoid Forward-head Posture by keeping your ears in line with your shoulders.
- Avoid Slouching – imagine a torch as attached to your sternum, and that torch should be shining forward at all times.
- Get your eyes checked-many of us are subconsciously leaning forward to see the screen secondary to poor vision.
But, overall good posture should feel effortless it does not involve sitting up as tall as possible throwing your shoulders back and puffing out your chest. You should listen to your body. If it feels uncomfortable it is not a good posture to be sitting in. In many cases while at work you can easily be distracted by a nagging boss or tight deadlines and forget that you are starting to notice your neck or back is getting sore. It is important to get into a regular habit of listening to what your body is telling you, if you feel tension or fatigue in your muscles change positions!
If you are finding yourself with regular headaches or persistent back or neck pain, contact us and get it sorted before Christmas!