12 Tips to Improve Your Posture When Sitting and Standing
Let’s start with sitting. If you Google studies on sitting and standing you will find dozens that say either too much sitting is bad for you or you’ll find competing advice that argues that too much standing is unhealthy. It seems we can’t win.
Let’s meet in the middle and say that moderation is the best.
Some people cannot avoid sitting though, especially if you have a job that requires you to be at a desk or table for most of the day. On average people sit for much longer than they think throughout the day. We most often sit when we travel (by bus, train or car), we sit in offices, classrooms, meetings, and even in some service industries. We sit to eat and very often we sit to relax and unwind. That’s a lot of sitting. One study showed that people were sitting and laying down for up to 20 hours a day!
Still, not everyone has a job that requires sitting. Sometimes our jobs and everyday activities require us to stand for long periods. Whether you are stuck in a job that requires you to sit or are forced to be on your feet all day, I have a few tips to improve your posture and help provide some relief to your neck, back and pelvis whether you sit or stand.
7 TIPS TO IMPROVE POSTURE WHILE SITTING FOR LONG PERIODS:
Align your head so that you are not hunched over when you are looking at your screen. Your head should be above your sitting bones. Sitting with your head forward overworks your neck and back, so keep it aligned with your sitting bones.
2…Stretch your shoulders
Be conscious that they aren’t rolling forward. Also, don’t throw them back to far (don’t stick your chest out too much). To get the right position, sit up straight, pull your shoulders up, pull them back and then down again.
Shoulders UP BACK and DOWN.
Get up and walk around. Don’t sit for long periods, as your body will begin to ‘settle’ into a position which will have you hunched over. It’s expensive and impractical for most people to have a treadmill at their desk, so go the inexpensive and convenient route of just walking around your building or workplace. You don’t have to do a marathon, it’s just a matter of moving those dormant muscles.
Get up and move around. Just remember you can stop at some point and sit again.
4…Watch your feet!
Keep your thighs level or at a slight decline. Crossing your legs can lead to poor circulation and also puts pressure on your hips and spine.
A slight angle helps promote better posture and reduce pressure on the lower back. The Sit & Sigh ORIGINAL cushion is ideal to automatically put you in this type of seating position.
Don’t eat lunch at your desk. I know, your boss is cruel and you have lots to do. I applaud your dedication, but you’ll not be any good to your company and your productivity will be slower if you need time off work with back pain.
Even the rats are disgusted. For shame.
6…Exercise at your desk.
You aren’t required to whip off your suit and show off the 80s jazzercize outfit you have been wearing underneath, but by all means do. There are some simple exercises you can do while you are sitting they include:
- Shoulder rolls: rotate your shoulders forward (slowly) and backward. Make sure you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Rotate for 30 secs each time and do this for 2-3 times.
- Arms stretches: throw your arms in the air and wave them like you just don’t ca . . . .wait, that’s the wrong advice. Straighten out your arms in front of you, open your hands and move your fingers to encourage blood flow. Now stretch both arms in the air (no, really do it this time) and bend your right arm behind your head. Take your right arm and gently pull the bent elbow to the left until you feel a light stretch in your armpit and down your side. Do the same thing with your left hand for 30 secs.
- Hands: Extend your arms, make fists and rotate your wrists clockwise and counter-clockwise for at least 30 seconds each.
- Legs: Sit up straight and stretch your legs straight out so they are parallel to the floor. Point and flex your toes and rotate your ankles.
Feel the buuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrnnnnnnnn!!
Use ergonomic support. Our cushions are great for the office or for prolonged sitting and were designed to encourage and maintain good posture. Our Sit & Sigh ORIGINAL cushion helps prevent you from having to hunch over at your desk and boosts you up. Our Sit & Sigh LUMBAR cushion also helps relieve back strain and promote better sitting posture.
8…Quit your job
Become a professional sky-diver; thus, avoiding sitting altogether. Except for the landings. They may be a bit more difficult to deal with.
Being in free-fall all day might relieve back pain – until the landing.
5 TIPS FOR IMPROVING POSTURE WHILE STANDING FOR PROLONGED PERIODS:
1…Looking good might be important, but don’t let it get in the way of your long-term health and well-being.
Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes. If you are into heels, make sure they are low heels. High heels wear out your ankles and muscles much quicker allowing your legs and body to become fatigued faster, and they also put extra strain on your spine and back.
2…It takes Physical and Mental Effort (Sorry!)
Good posture requires some getting used to, especially for those of us who have settled into bad, slouchy habits. Stand tall, lift your shoulders up, put your shoulders back and then down again. This should open up your diaphragm and stretch out your spine. Try to maintain that throughout your day. It will take work, but keep encouraging yourself back into a standing tall position when you start to slouch and/or roll your shoulders forward.
3…Strengthen your abs.
You can use our tips here or find ones that suit your comfort level. The weaker your abs are the more likely you are to slouch. Stronger abs makes it easier to have and maintain good posture.
“My abs and back feel great…but I wish I didn’t have that 3 bean chilli cheese burrito for lunch.”
4…Use ergonomic support.
Sometimes you need a hand to help you get in the habit of standing up straight. A lumbar belt is an easy and effective way to give you a boost and help relieve strain from standing for prolonged periods. The lumbar support is also useful if your job requires lifting and other activities that could strain your lower back.
5…If your job allows it, don’t stand completely still.
Break up your stance with posture relief exercises and movements. Stretch if you can and twist slowly from side to side. Keep that blood flow going.
You might want to warn co-workers first.
Good luck and sit or stand tall, wherever you may be!
Have any other tips? Leave a comment below and share it with others.