Chances are you’re reading this from a laptop or maybe even a smart phone. Let me guess, your chin is pulled down toward your chest allowing you to look down at the screen, turning your posture into a slouch. Am I close?
Now sit up straight, square your shoulders back and lift your chin high — even if it means looking at the wall instead of this post. Doesn’t that feel better? That’s because it should! Humans were designed to stand this way, we weren’t ever actually built to be sitting for long periods of time. Think about this: when we stand in conversation we are eye to eye. It’s the most natural position for our bodies to be in.
This whole conversation was inspired by a colleague of mine. She was experiencing some pretty serious neck and back pain, and was finding the relief from a good massage was only temporary. Since there’s only so much time a girl can spend on a heating pad, she decided to look into what might be causing these aches. It turns out that years of sitting hunched over her laptop actually changed her posture and was causing all kinds of problems.
Remember when the kid in Jerry Maguire claimed the human head weighs eight pounds? Well, he was right! When my girl had her alignment checked, they discovered even though her head weighs eight pounds, the position she’d become accustomed to created 18 pounds of pressure coming down on her neck and shoulders! She was given three options: visit a doctor regularly to constantly correct her body, take prescription medicine to alleviate the discomfort, or create a better working environment and train her body to self-correct. You can bet she went with number three — and never looked back!
Below you’ll find some of the best ways you can create a workspace that benefits your body. In addition to these products, simple adjustments in your daily life can make a major difference in your posture. For example, when you’re scrolling through your newsfeed on your smart phone, hold the phone at eye level rather than holding it down toward your lap. Your neck will thank you!
1. The Stand Desk
These desks are essential for anyone who spends an extended amount of time on the computer. And let’s face it, that’s pretty much everyone! Standing allows your body to be in its natural state. These electric StandDesks allow you to switch to a sitting position with the flick of a button.
2. Anti Fatigue Mat
There are tons of these mats out there and I encourage you to look for the one that best meets your needs. These soft, squishy mats relieve pressure on your heels, backs, legs, and shoulders. Yes — they really work! If you’re going to stand in one place for an extended time, invest in one of these.
3. Adjustable Monitor Mount
Whether sitting or standing at your desk, it’s a great idea to fix your monitor to one of these bad boys. As I mentioned previously, the idea is not to look down at the screen but rather have your chin up. By hoisting your monitor, you’re forcing yourself to sit in a better position.
4. Kneeling Chair
These funny looking chairs are seriously great. They promote good posture and even relieve existing back pain. You’ll find yourself sitting up straight because slouching isn’t really an option.
Do you have an ergonomic office solution? Please share in the comments!