office postures that harm your health

Office Postures That Harm Your Health and How To Avoid

Most offices are a breeding ground for stress & anxiety, to which unhealthy postures add to health woes. Individuals can prevent the most common health issue such as knee related pain by improving their postures while carrying objects, standing or sitting in their office chair. Practicing bad postures whether at work or any other place can lead to serious illnesses in long run.

You need to pay attention to your pose throughout the day making sure that your spine is straight at all times and you have ample back support. If you are clueless about the way you carry yourself, you can ask your colleague or your friend to observe you and make suggestions.

Here are few examples of some of the common wrong postures at work –

  • Hunching the shoulders forward and drooping
  • Keeping the head too high or drooping it too low
  • Intensively curving the lower back. This is also known as Lordosis
  • Shifting the weight entirely on any one side while carrying something heavy
  • Holding the phone between the shoulder and neck while hands are kept busy with some other task
  • Not using a comfortable office chair such as one with an ergonomic design
  • Cradling a phone receiver between the neck and shoulder
  • Slumping forward while working on a computer or laptop
  • Tight clothing, wrong shoes especially high heels

Harmful effects of bad office postures

  • Hunched back – When you sit hunched at your desk for long hours, you are causing the spine to curve. This makes the spine to become C–shaped at the top causing pain in the back, shoulders and neck.
  • Round Shoulders – Slouching forward while typing, exerts excess pressure on the chest and causes the shoulders to spin forward.
  • Digestive issues – Hernias and acid refluxes are some of the common abdominal ailments seen in people with wrong postures. Slouching for insanely long hours constricts the intestines, lungs and heart. Wrong poses can also lead to the formation of pot bellies.
  • Migraines and headaches – You read that right! Poor postures strain and cause tensions in areas such as the back, shoulders and neck, and this tension eventually causes the person to develop headaches.
  • Poor breathing patterns – Bad postures such as slouching and slumping constricts the diaphragm, lungs and ribcage preventing the smooth flow of oxygen. This creates difficulty in breathing and speaking.

Tips to improve poor posture

  • Keep the body aligned – Whether you are standing or sitting on a chair, make sure that your body is aligned into a straight line. Keeping your spine straight is very important. Holding any position for too long can be tiring, so whenever you feel strained shift your position.
  • Stretch and shift – You should not stay in your chair for too long even if you really have an urgent work. Take frequent breaks to walk or stretch as this helps to release the tension and pressure in different areas of the body.
  • Use supportive chairs – Ergonomic office chairs offer adequate support to the spine and the lower back.
  • Exercises for great posture – Workouts like swimming, aerobics and bicycling can go a long way in improving and toning your structure. It also helps you to maintain a healthy posture. Exercises for back pain and physiotherapy can help you to ease the tension and pressure in the joints and other parts of the body.
  • Make your workspace healthy – Each individual has a different physical structure, therefore you need to personalize your workspace by correctly positioning your chair, desk, computer screen, etc. to suit you.

Proper postures are vitally important for keeping your spine healthy. And it’s easy to incorporate these principles into your daily life. It may seem unnatural at first, but if you keep at it, they will easily become routine. Your back will thank you for it!