Improve Your Posture and Focus with These 5 Ergonomic Tips
NOTE: Our friends at Damon Wellness provide this essential information on how we can improve our posture and take some stress off our bodies.
Whether you sit or stand all day long at a desk or you’re constantly on the move, there are simple (and free) adjustments that you make to your workstation to improve your posture.
And better posture means you’re more upright, which means your body is breathing easily, sending ample oxygen around your entire brain and body to help you think and focus better.
Better focus means higher quality productivity, and who wouldn’t want that, right?
Ergonomics is the study of adapting the environment to better suit your needs so that you can be as efficient and productive as possible. Please remember that a tool that is sold as “Ergonomic” is not necessarily so until it has been fitted for your body.
The following are some general rules to make sure your workstation is fit to your body and improves your posture. These apply not only to your typical workstation, but also to any environment you are in on a day-to-day basis. You can apply these when you’re driving, cooking, studying, reading, etc.
If you’re looking at a screen, document, or book, make sure the top of it is at eye level.
Our gaze naturally rests 1-2 inches below eye level, so having the top of whatever you’re working on any higher than eye level can cause you to crane your neck up to see your work, causing neck and eye strain. The free solution is to stack a couple books, reams of paper, or a Tupperware container underneath your screen or book. You can also check out these inexpensive doc and book holders.
If you’re sitting in chair (at work, reading, writing, or driving), make sure your feet are resting flat on the floor, the back of your knees are not touching the edge of the seat, and your knees are in line with or slightly above your knees.
Use a seat cushion or even a pillow to raise your seat up if the seat is too low. Use a stack of books or a trashcan turned on its side as a footrest if the seat is too high. For more info and suggestions on how to modify your environment, check out this old blog post, 90-90-90 Rule of Desktop Ergonomics.
If you’re doing something on a counter or standing desk, keep your shoulders relaxed and pulled back, elbows at your sides, and elbows in the same line as or slightly above your wrists.
If the counter is too low, you will feel a back strain from bending down or from pulling your shoulders forward to compensate. If it’s too high, the shoulders tend to creep up towards our ears. In this case, you can stand on a safe wide step stool, sit on pillows, or find a shorter surface.
Keep frequently used items within arm’s reach from where you are sitting to avoid any excessive bending, twisting, or reaching.
Most importantly, keep moving.
Our bodies are not meant to stay in one position for long, so you will want to relax, stretch, or get up and move around every 30 minutes to an hour. Check out this old blog post about helpful (and some cute) computer timer apps that remind you to take a stretch break.
For more simple tips and an easy to follow checklist, check out damonwellness.com/gift.
Jessica May Tang, OTR/L
CEO, Damon Wellness Consulting
(424) 258-0831 | (866) 738-9187 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.damonwellness.com