Below is an introduction to basics about posture that we frequently discuss at the office. Posture, in its entirety, can be a loaded topic. While many feel they maintain adequate posture, the majority of people could benefit from some improvements. Improving posture is key to overall health as inadequate posture puts our bodies in compromised positions for long periods of time.
It is a well-known fact that the average person sits most of their day -- you're probably sitting at your computer reading this now. Even for those of you who are constantly on your feet at work, it may be eye opening how much you sit throughout the day.
Let's take a look at a typical day and how much we sit:
- Sitting down to eat breakfast or read the newspaper
- Sitting in the car or on the train during your commute to work
- Sitting at your desk once you arrive at work
- Sitting down to eat lunch (whether at or outside the office), and then returning to your desk to sit again
- Sitting in the car or on the train on the commute home
- Sitting to eat dinner and spend time with family
- Sitting to watch evening TV
- Laying down at night to go to sleep. Although not seated, many sleep with their hips and knees in a flexed position, just like they are while sitting.
- The next morning we wake up and will complete this cycle all over again...
Needless to say, we sit a lot throughout our day! Ample research and studies have revealed that sitting too much can lead to significant complications. Sitting for as little as two consecutive hours can increase your risk of:
- Heart Disease
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Back and Neck Pain
- Other Orthopedic Problems
Here are some ways to improve posture while sitting:
- Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time
- Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground
- Use a lumbar support to assist your mid and low back
- Keep your knees at or below the level of your waist
- Avoid crossing your legs
- Keep your feet flat on the ground
So today, take a note on how much you are sitting and of your posture. Small improvements in posture can make a big difference! Stay tuned for tips on alternatives to sitting and ways to incorporate more activity into your day.
Please let us know if you have any questions, we would love to hear from you. As always, stay health and stay happy.
Have a great week.
Dr. Timothy R. Gilbert