Alignment is key to good seated posture. Take a moment to check yourself. Are your ears in line with your shoulders? Is your back pressed against the back of the chair? Are your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent at a 90° angle or propped up slightly on a footrest or small box? How far away do your arms have to reach to get to your keyboard? Part of finding good posture is assessing the positions you are seated in, especially ones that cause you discomfort. Once you’re aware of your posture, you can make those necessary tweaks to improve how you sit at your desk.
Even as you read this now, you’re likely sitting awkwardly at your desk or on your phone with your neck cocked to the side or jutting forward. These unhealthy positions can cause tension in the head, neck, and shoulders. As a result, we feel uncomfortable, tired, and unproductive. How we sit at our desks can make a big difference in our work day.
5 Ways To Improve Your Desk Posture
Check Your Alignment
Do a quick spot check on your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and feet. Ears in line with shoulders, shoulders in line with hips, knees at a 90° angle, feet flat on the floor.
Shrug Your Shoulders
It’s the one time when the “I don’t know” gesture is actually good for you at work! Lift your shoulders up towards your ears, hold the shrug for a second then release; this will help loosen tension in your neck. Or pull your shoulder blades back to open up the chest; this will stop you from slouching and you may find your breathing is improved.
Uncross Your Legs
Crossing our legs puts our hips out of alignment and can lead to back pain. When we cross our legs, we cut off the peroneal nerve, which provides circulation to our lower legs. If your feet are falling asleep at your desk, then you need to make a change!
Stretch Your Hips
Our hips and glutes bear the burden of our body weight while we’re sitting down, so it’s important to keep the muscles and joints loose and to maintain healthy circulation. Try these two stretches at your desk to take some of the strain off of these major muscle areas.
Seated Figure Four
Place your right ankle on top of your left knee, then gently bend forward, placing your right hand on top of your right knee to push down slightly for a deeper stretch, 10-20 seconds. Repeat on opposite side.
Located at the front of our hips, the hip flexor is an important part of how we walk and can get tight when we sit down for too long. Sit on the edge of your chair, just to the side and extend your right leg back, keeping the left knee bent at a 90°angle. Tilt your hips forward and hold in this stretch for 10-20 seconds. Repeat on opposite side.
Get up from your desk at least every 30 minutes. Stand and stretch, if you don’t mind a few funny looks from your neighbors, or take a quick walk. Your body and your eyes will thank you for the little break from sitting and staring at the computer.
Good posture is super important to our health! Take a moment to pause and check how your desk posture is working for you. We can’t be expected to have perfect posture all day long, but we can make a few healthy adjustments to how we sit at work so that we are comfortable and productive.