Having good posture in the workplace plays a significant role in the overall improvement of workplace ergonomics. Poor posture in the workplace is incredibly common, and is often referred to as ‘tech neck’. This is the head-down, neck bent, shoulders forward, slouching position that many employees remain in while peering at a computer or looking down at a smartphone.
If you want to know what good posture feels like, stand up straight with your shoulders back and chin up. Imagine there is a string pulling your head and spine up towards the ceiling. Or, balance a book on your head and see how straight your stance must be for that book not to fall.
The benefits of good posture in the workplace
The benefits of sitting up straighter and having good posture include:
- better breathing and circulation
- a decrease in back and body pains
- more energy throughout the day
- better digestion, more oxygen delivered to your brain
- less mental fatigue
- better productivity and mental alertness.
Additional benefits include having a stronger core and stronger back muscles, burning more calories throughout the day, appearing more confident and looking more professional.
Slouching definitely looks unprofessional, but that’s only one of many reasons why you should sit up straight at work. Sitting up straight relieves pressure from your back and spine, dramatically reducing the risk of strain and injury.
Now that you’re aware of some of the benefits of having good posture, you’re probably motivated to learn how to improve yours. Below are some posture-improving tips:
Set up an ergonomic workstation to improve posture
In order to improve your posture, you’ll need an ergonomic workstation which includes a computer monitor adjusted to the correct height, an adjustable desk, an adjustable chair, and a keyboard and mouse in the proper position. The best adjustable desks for good posture are standing desks that can be lowered into sitting desks. While sitting, your desk can be adjusted to a height that allows you to keep your head straight instead of looking downwards. While standing, your posture naturally improves and you’re less likely to slouch while working at a standing desk. In general, it’s not good for your body to remain in the same position for a prolonged period of time. Switching up your position throughout the day (for example by standing at a standing desk) is much better for your body than sitting all day.
When you do sit, sit on the right type of office chair. Ergonomic office chairs that are fully adjustable with good lumbar support are worth the investment in your physical health and well being.
Maintain good posture while using a laptop
Many employees will often work remotely. This means they’re working from home, or offsite at a client’s, using their laptop. They’re unfortunately away from their ergonomic workstation. If you don’t have an ergonomic workstation set up at home yet, and you’re stuck using a laptop, there are still ways to keep your posture in check:
Use books, a ream of paper, or a laptop stand at home to raise your laptop to eye level. All you need is a separate keyboard and mouse (there are plenty of inexpensive options) to connect to your laptop so that you can type while keeping your screen at eye level. Even if you aren’t sitting in an ergonomic chair, you can still sit up straight with your shoulders back instead of hunching over.
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Improve your posture by using an app for posture improvement~root~>
Many jobs require the use of a smartphone, whether it’s because you’re responsible for updating the company’s social media or you’re testing the prototype of a new mobile app. While using a smartphone at work, raise the smartphone up to eye level instead of looking down at it. You may think that using a smartphone encourages bad posture, since you typically slouch and look downwards while using a smartphone device.
Use of a smartphone, however, can actually improve your posture. This is because nowadays, there are various mobile apps dedicated to posture improvement. There is a mobile app called UPRIGHT GO which you can download onto your smartphone, and it will keep tabs on your posture throughout the day. The UPRIGHT GO device pairs with the UPRIGHT GO app. The small device attaches to your upper-back via a hypoallergenic, medical-grade adhesive sticker. Whenever you slouch at your desk or revert to bad posture, the device will gently vibrate on your back to alert you to check your posture. The app will help train you to improve your posture, and it will also give you feedback on how good or bad your posture was that day.
Exercise to strengthen your core muscles to improve posture
Strong core muscles are required for sitting up straight and holding yourself in good posture. Get into the habit of going to the gym or work on strengthening your core at home. Sit-ups are good to routinely practice, as well as the plank. Both can be done at home. The plank not only strengthens your core, but also teaches your body stabilization. Squats are another great exercise that can be done either at home or at the gym. Squats are great for strengthening your core and back muscles (strength in both are needed to maintain good posture.) If you routinely practice posture-improving exercises, it’ll be easier to hold good posture all day long.
Wear a posture corrector
Both men and women can use a posture corrector – a wearable device to help them improve their posture at work. There are posture-correcting devices with a reinforced criss-cross back that gently pulls your shoulders back while supporting your back. There are posture-correcting, compression t-shirts that can be worn underneath work attire for both men and women. A fitted, posture-correcting neuroband shirt helps improve posture because the shirt’s compression and tension panels activate specific muscle groups to help keep your positioning more upright.