The Office Worker’s Guide to Better Posture

    SEPTEMBER 14, 2021

    The Office Worker’s Guide to Better Posture

    If you spend several hours a day sitting down, this guide is your source for research-proven methods to enhance your posture and improve your health

    Recently, we released a couple of articles about the dangers of excessive sitting and healthy ways to counteract them.

    To learn about the adverse effects of too much sitting, you can check out our first article in the series: 7 Ways That Sitting Can Impact Your Health.

    If you’re looking for ways to prevent those health risks, the second installment, How to Combat Long Hours of Sitting, offers plenty of practical solutions that are easy to implement.

    Today, however, we’ll be attacking the problem from a different angle. In this article, we’ll be learning how to tackle sitting’s evil twin: bad posture.

    Poor posture is one of the big reasons why sitting is so unhealthy for us. The longer we sit down, the harder it becomes to maintain a good sitting position, which over time can cause musculoskeletal issues (which we’ll cover in a moment).

    But with the methods we go over below, you’ll discover the scientifically proven optimal sitting position, and how best to maintain it during long hours at the office or work at home.

    So, let’s get started!

    The Bad News About Bad Posture

    Excessive sitting and poor posture go together like peanut butter and jelly, only the result is much less satisfying than a tasty sandwich.

    When you slump over, keep your neck bent downwards, or even stay in a slightly rotated position for extended periods of time, you open up the door to a slew of potential health risks.

    Recent research shows that poor posture can create harmful pressure on the discs in your spine, increase muscle tension, and even overload the musculoskeletal system.

    If these issues aren’t addressed, they can lead to discomfort and even severe lower back, neck, and shoulder problems over time.

    The article referenced above cites that many office workers share common symptoms from poor posture, like neck pain and referred discomfort in the shoulders.

    This unfortunate result could be because excessive neck bending has been shown to weaken the neck muscles, leading to imbalances and tension in opposing muscles.

    But the risks don’t stop there. Believe it or not, bad posture can even impact your respiratory function.

    Your neck, core, shoulder, and even pelvic muscles work together to help you breathe properly.

    If you’re slumped over or rotated a certain way, it can decrease your chest mobility, which may affect how effectively your lungs take in air.

    In fact, after observing a number of different sitting positions, one study found the slumped or slouched position had the biggest impact on respiratory function.

    What is Good Posture? And How Do I Maintain it?

    A 2017 systematic review points to the fact that the optimal sitting position complements the spine’s natural curvature.

    That means sitting in a way that promotes a slight curve in the lower back, keeps the neck in a neutral position, and maintains a neutral or slightly extended thoracic spine (chest), with shoulders back in a relaxed position.

    But what exactly does that look like?

    Here’s what the research suggests about how to achieve the optimal sitting position:

    • Get some low back support – Having a chair with lumbar support or using a pad or pillow can help you maintain that curve in your lower spine and lighten the load on your intervertebral discs.
    • Avoid crossing your knees or ankles  Many people naturally cross their legs when they sit down, but this habit puts your lower back in a rounded position and disrupts your alignment. Do your best to keep your feet flat on the floor as often as possible. You can even set a timer to check in on your posture every five to ten minutes. 
    • If possible, keep your monitor at eye level – To avoid putting too much stress on your neck and shoulder muscles, set up your computer monitor so you don’t have to tilt your neck up or down. Over-flexing or extending your neck can lead to discomfort and muscular issues over time.
    • Make sure your chair has armrests – Especially when typing, using your mouse, or arranging papers, your forearms and elbows should be supported at all times. 
    • Maintain the proper angle between your forearms and upper arms – According to the 2017 review mentioned above, the position of your upper arms is just as important as how you hold your head. When typing, the angle between your forearms and upper arms should be around one hundred degrees. So, just a little bit wider than a strict L-shape. This position can help reduce the risk of nerve and muscular issues in the hands, arms, and shoulders.
    • Maintain slight knee and hip flexion – While sitting, try setting your feet on the floor slightly behind your knees and adjusting your seat height to where your knees are a bit higher than your hips. This position can promote an anterior pelvic tilt, which complements the spine’s natural curvature and encourages good sitting posture.
    • If all else fails, invest in a posture trainer – If you can’t seem to maintain a good sitting position no matter what you try, consider picking up a posture corrector. These devices can either remind you when you start to slouch or make it physically impossible to do so, providing an effective shortcut to optimal posture. 

    Counteract Too Much Sitting With BEMER Therapy

    Although good posture can certainly help minimize the damage from excessive sitting, the body still struggles to circulate blood properly when seated.

    Long hours at the computer can cause blood to pool in your lower body, which may lead to diminished energy levels, performance, and more.

    Exercising, stretching, and taking regular breaks are all great ways of counteracting these adverse effects…

    But many people still have to sit down for hours at a time every day.

    If you spend most of your week sitting behind a desk or computer, BEMER therapy is the perfect sedentary-fighting solution.

    The BEMER Office-Pack comes with a specially adapted applicator that fits perfectly into any office chair. This state-of-the-art device uses pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) technology to send a therapeutic signal through your body.

    These PEMF waves facilitate blood flow and can provide a host of health benefits, such as enhanced*:

    • Oxygen delivery
    • Muscle conditioning & recovery
    • Performance
    • Physical fitness
    • Muscular strength
    • Endurance and energy
    • Vitality and wellbeing
    • Stress reduction and relaxation

    All it takes is two eight-minute BEMER sessions a day to give your body an extra layer of defense against too much sitting.

    And the best part? You can do it while seated!

    Get in touch with a BEMER distributor near you to get started today. Combined with your newfound optimal posture, you’ll be well on your way to upgrading your health and wellness!

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    BEMER does not provide any medical advice or services. This device is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It should not be used for any purpose other than as described in the user manual. Please consult your own healthcare provider if you have any medical issues.

    BEMER USA LLC is a leader in the field of microcirculation. BEMER Group North America, 1989 Palomar Oaks Way, Carlsbad, CA 92011

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