Posture and Balance Experts Explain 10 Bad Habits That Can Damage Office Workers’ Health
Long-term sitting can lead to poor health, scientists say. They even refer to this phenomenon as “sitting disease.” Back pain is a very common problem because static posture increases stress in the back, shoulders, arms, and legs. That’s why it’s important to avoid certain sitting mistakes and follow experts’ recommendations.
We at Bright Side know how harmful bad sitting habits can be and want to share with you some poor posture positions that we likely do every day while working at a desk.
1. You don’t keep your computer monitor at eye level.
Your eyes should be in line with a point on the screen about 2-3 inches (5-7 cm) below the top of your monitor. If it’s positioned this way, you won’t tilt your head. The thing is, we have a better visual field looking to the horizon than we do peering above it. When you set the screen in the correct and comfortable position, you will be able to see more. Plus, your neck and back won’t suffer.
2. You don’t pull your shoulders back or keep your back flat against the chair.
Experts recommend that your back be aligned with the back of the office chair. You need to avoid leaning forward. This is especially important when you feel tired after sitting for long periods of time.
3. You don’t rest your feet flat on the ground.
It’s better to bend your knees at this angle when your feet are flat on the floor. Experts also say that it’s good to take off your shoes, especially when they have heels. If your chair can’t be adjusted to the right height, use a footrest.
4. You cross your ankles or legs.
There are plenty of studies that suggest crossing the legs while working at a desk is harmful. Doctors say it can even lead to high blood pressure. Instead, you can try to do some exercises each time you feel the urge to cross your legs.
5. You don’t use ergonomic supports to maintain a neutral position.
6. You don’t adjust your seat according to what your body needs.
You may adjust your seat’s height often but there are still many little changes you can make. Just change the “setting” of your chair until you find the most comfortable one for you. And it’s better not to use a normal chair because you can’t regulate it.
Some specialists also recommend sit-stand chairs. They allow people to sit or lean in different ways so you can perform some exercises.
7. You don’t take breaks every 30 minutes.
Sitting for long periods of time can cause muscle fatigue, as medical sources say. After spending some time sitting with the right posture, you can still resort back to a position that can be harmful to your back. In this case, take frequent breaks.
Specialists recommend taking breaks every 30 minutes and at the very least, perform some exercises every hour.
8. You don’t adjust your chair height so your hips are slightly higher than the knees.
It’s suggested to adjust your working chair height. The hips should be slightly higher than your knees. Basically, your legs should be bent at a 90-degree angle. It might be hard at the beginning, but try to maintain this posture as much as possible.
9. You don’t adjust the armrest height.
While sitting on an office chair at a desk, we may forget about the right positioning of the arms. They should be flexed anywhere from a 75-degree angle to a 90-degree angle at the elbows. Specialists recommend this positioning not just to avoid pain in your back, but also to strengthen it.
10. You don’t use earphones while working at your desk.
Sometimes there can be too many distractions while you work hard at a desk. Experts are not against wearing headphones, but they suggest you do it while talking on the phone, at the very least. It promotes the right positioning of your head and saves you from back pain, especially if you need to make lots of calls. However, professionals warn that wearing headphones at work all the time can isolate you from coworkers.
How often do you notice that you’re sitting with the wrong posture while working at a desk? What life hacks do you have to avoid these bad sitting positions?