When you’re at work, do you find yourself sitting for essentially your entire day? If so, you aren’t alone — surveys show that up to 70 percent of full-time American employees spend almost their whole day in a chair. And for those who stand at work, improper posture can create as many problems as what those sitting can experience.
Poor posture can lead to a number of issues that cause significant problems over time. From varicose veins and back pain to cardiovascular problems and disc pressure, you run the risk of seriously affecting your health the longer you maintain poor posture. Fortunately, there are steps you can take today to make a change.
Focus on Spinal Alignment
Whether sitting or standing, it’s all too easy to slouch. Leaning into a monitor or a work area may seem comfortable in the short run, but over time, this unnatural shape can put serious pressure on your spine. This pressure can speed up disc degeneration, causing herniated discs or arthritis.
The solution? Place focus on sitting or standing straight. Keeping your shoulders back and your head above your spine keeps your back curved as nature intended. If sitting, utilize lumbar support to bring your lower back forward, and keep your upper back against the chair. You may need to raise your keyboard and monitor to help with this. And if you’re standing, see how you can raise a work surface so that you don’t need to bend over it.
When you walk, avoid drooping. If you carry items for work or simply bring a bag around with you, don’t let it pull you forward — stand up tall, with your head up and shoulders back. Look straight ahead when walking so that your head isn’t constantly pulling your spine away from its natural design.
How you walk is important too. Rolling your feet when walking makes for smoother movement, so try to land your steps on your heel, then roll the surface of your foot forward toward the toes. This kind of motion doesn’t jar your spine with every step, helping prolong its ability to absorb impacts.
Lift and Carry Correctly
If you move heavy objects with any frequency, make sure you use correct techniques. Bending from the hips to pick up objects on the ground, instead of from the lower back, keeps your spine oriented correctly. Also, don’t twist your spine when changing directions — twist your hips or use your legs to guide movement. Finally, carrying a heavy weight too far forward puts significant strain on your back, so make sure to carry it as close to your body as possible.
Too many years of bad posture may have led to back or neck pain, disc problems or other spinal issues. Fortunately, our expert specialists and surgeons at Spine Institute of North America are here to lead you back to health. Call or contact us online, and discover why we were chosen as a Top Rated Spine Institute.