Sit up straight! Did you have parents or teachers who continually said this to you? Where they saying this because they considered it the proper way to carry yourself? Or was there another reason—perhaps wisdom passed down through the ages that actually pointed to health benefits of good posture? Well now that we are older, we can choose to sit and stand the way we want. But there are studies that show the advantages of good posture. So today we look at the benefits and ways to achieve good workplace posture.
The Benefits of Good Workplace Posture
Good workplace posture has both physical and mental benefits:
- Reduces chances of aches and pains—in the neck, back, and eventually the knees and hips.
- Provides ample space for the diaphragm and lungs to expand. Slouching provides less room for expansion.
- People feel positive and empowered when sitting up straight.
- Sitting up straight reduces stress.
- Aids digestion because proper posture tones the muscles of your core, which support your digestive organs.
- May improve memory, because sitting good posture increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain (up to 40 percent by some accounts).
How to Achieve Good Workplace Posture While Sitting
As you have probably heard by now, sitting is the new smoking. That is a topic for another day, however it does highlight the fact that each day, the average office employee spends seven to ten hours sitting. If such a large part of your day sitting, you certainly should try to maintain good posture.
The Cleveland Clinic provides guidance on how to achieve the correct sitting position.
- Keep your back straight and your shoulders back.
- Your butt should touch the back of your chair.
- All three normal back curves should be present while sitting.
- Both hips should have your body weight evenly distributed on them.
- Knees should be bent at 90 degrees.
- Knees should be even or higher than your hips.
- Never cross your legs.
- Feet should be flat on the floor.
- Avoid sitting in the same position for more than 30 minutes.
How to Achieve Good Workplace Posture While Standing
Now, as the sitting study has shown, we don’t do enough standing, especially those who have an office job. However, there is also good workplace posture when standing.
The Mayo Clinic provides pointers to proper standing posture.
- Keep your chest held high.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed and back.
- Keep your head aligned with your body—not tilted forward or backward.
- Your abdomen and butt should be pulled in.
- Do not lock your knees.
- Keep your feet parallel.
- Distribute your weight evenly on your feet.
Small Changes Big Benefits
Think about posture this way: By practicing the posture above, proper posture will eventually become commonplace. You will never have to make the change again (although a few reminders may help). These simple changes can quickly increase productivity, decrease stress levels, and make you look and feel more confident.
All this simply by not slouching? Who would have known…besides your mother?
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