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How to improve your office posture

Does your back hurt all the time? Find out what habits to adopt to improve your posture at the office!

by Estelle Josse
How to improve your office posture
DISCLAIMER: Leet Design cannot be improvised by a physiotherapist or a doctor! This article is only a digest of advice and tips but do not hesitate to consult a specialist if your pain persists or if you have the slightest doubt. We work to improve the quality of life at work but our hobby is still acoustic cabins! 

Back pain, the pain of the century

We spend more and more time sitting in front of our screens, even more so since videoconferencing meetings have become a daily occurrence. In general, we tend to favour sitting as soon as possible: at the office, at home, on public transport, in the car... It has been calculated that we spend an average of 9.3 hours a day in a seated position, which is more time than we spend sleeping (7.7 hours). 

However, this position is not the most suitable for our body, especially when it is held for such a long time. It creates compression points that affect the proper functioning of blood circulation in our limbs and organs. Back pain is probably familiar to you, but unfortunately it is the most common consequence of poor posture. On the other hand, back problems give rise to other health problems, such as blood circulation problems, leg aches or even generalized anxiety.  

These postural problems are considered within the framework of the development of QWL (Quality of Life at Work). Occupational health services advise and support employers and employees to limit and prevent these risks. This is a legal obligation enshrined in the Labour Code. 

Most of us have developed bad posture habits that are detrimental to us. That's why we offer you this article to prevent or relieve your back pain! 

The importance of the quality of the material and its positioning 

Adjusting his seat is one of the first reflexes to have. The legs should be at a 90-degree angle to the ground and the feet flat. Preferably, move the backrest back a little and if possible, adjust the armrests so that your shoulders are in a relaxed position.

Your screen can be both friend and foe. The distance and height of the screen is important for the eyes, head and spine. Stretch your arms out on your desk and position the screen where your hands stop. Regarding height, you should be able to look at both the top and bottom of the screen without having to move your head. 

Finally, it is clearly impossible to maintain good posture if the furniture is not adapted. Uncomfortable chairs, without backrests or armrests, a shallow desk etc., are not suitable. These are details but they have an impact in the long term. So make sure that all your equipment is ergonomically designed to improve your posture and your health! 

These tips are intended for people who work in offices as well as at home. Teleworking is also conducive, if not more so, to poor posture. If you want to read more tips on how to set up your workspace at home, consider reading our article on the subject.

The value of breaking the sedentary office routine

Standing or walking are not always very appreciated. The more you sit, the more you feel like sitting! Nevertheless, they do wake up the muscles and activate the blood circulation and this is not negligible! So force yourself to take the time to break the sedentary lifestyle. 

First, get into the habit of walking and stretching for a few minutes every hour. Then, take advantage of your breaks to walk and make your phone calls standing up. Finally, if you're reluctant, put things like your water bottle at a distance to force yourself to walk every time you need to. 

The prevention of harm

Better safe than sorry. Taking care of your body with exercises to relieve and relax your muscles is the key! 

The power of breathing is too often underestimated. However, it helps to overcome all the problems encountered at work: poor posture, sedentary lifestyle, stress... Breathing, thanks to the muscles it activates and the internal pressure it imposes, forces you to hold your body upright. Also, breathing through the nose prevents over-ventilation and helps to stay calm. Breathing exercises are simple and quick, enjoy! The breathing exercises stimulate the diaphragm. Exhalation exercises are also very useful because we often tend to forget to exhale. Finally, in the evening before going to sleep, work on your abdominal rather than thoracic breathing. The latter can be detrimental to physical and psychological health: the lungs are not used properly, which leads to stress, a feeling of discomfort and prevents a correct supply of oxygen to the cells. So much so that the benefits of abdominal breathing are numerous: regulating the heartbeat, reducing stress, promoting oxygenation of the cells, stimulating the production of endorphins? 

With one hand on your stomach, simply inhale deeply through your nose, counting to 5, then slowly exhale all the air in your lungs, counting to 10.

Regular stretching and flexibility exercises will save your lumbar and shoulder blades. Yoga sessions will clearly be the most suitable since they involve a maximum of muscles while being very gentle. If you don't have the time or motivation, stretch for a few minutes morning and evening. 

Here are 3 simple and effective exercises to do whenever you have a minute to spare: 

  • Lie on your back, bring your knees towards your chest, holding them as close as possible with your hands. 
  • Get down on your knees with your legs glued together and stretch your arms out in front of you while breathing deeply. 
  • Place your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Breathe in deeply, digging into your back and pushing your buttocks backwards. Then exhale while rounding your back as if you were pushing your spine up. The purpose of this movement is to dynamically dig and round your back.

Good posture is essential for good health and to prevent back problems. By applying these tips, you will improve your posture and avoid various health concerns! If you want to read more articles on improving the quality of life at work, we suggest you read our other articles!

 


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