We are glad that you are reading this article, but please stop for a couple of seconds, and before continuing reading, sit up straight and don’t slouch. Okay! Let’s carry on. These are probably some of the most common phrases that we heard growing up. But to be honest, many people are now regretting not doing it since they were kids.
To date, around 65 million Americans are reporting recent episodes of back pain. Their discomfort scale is so large that it leads to 83 million days of work lost per year. So maybe it’s time we take a closer look at what’s going on.
HOLA! USA go-to specialist Dr. Vikki Petersen, certified clinical nutritionist, chiropractor, and certified functional medicine practitioner, shared the importance of knowing how your posture throughout the day can impact your productivity at work.
“Poor posture is extremely common, yet few appreciate that it can make you tired, give you headaches and diminish your mental acuity,” says Dr. Petersen. “Your head is a 10-pound bowling ball perched above your spine. When your head protrudes forward or slouch, you interfere with nerve flow to your neck and brain, leading to pain, headache, loss of concentration, and more. A slouched position compromises your oxygen intake, leading to fatigue and brain fog.”
What are some posture tips to avoid becoming one of the 65 million Americans with back pain? Here are Dr. Vikki Petersen’s top three tips for combatting bad posture:
Be smart about your throne
- The best work chair has many adjustments available to you. The chair should not only move up and down but the lumbar support (seat back) should be adjustable, along with the height of your armrests. It’s worth the investment and can make a huge difference in how you feel throughout the day.
Elevation is key
- Consider investing in a desk that moves up and down, alternating between the sitting and standing position. If that is too much of an expense, small desktop devices will elevate your computer to allow you to stand and keep working. Standing desks have grown tremendously in popularity, and for a good reason. You’ll notice the difference in how you feel when using one.
Think outside the chair
- Consider an exercise ball that you change out for your chair. The ball will utilize different muscles in your neck and back, and the good news is that it is almost impossible to slouch on it without falling off! Using an exercise ball as your chair is a great way to stabilize and strengthen core muscles without much-added effort.