July 26, 2023
After a long workday, you plop down onto the couch tired and achy in your neck and back. Unlike a hard laborer like a construction worker or landscaper, you sit at a desk all day, so why do you feel like this? It could be that you have poor posture. In this post, you’ll learn how posture can impact your neck and back and how to change your sitting posture for good.
How Bad Posture Leads to Pain
As a complex system, your body has built-in ways to keep it all in balance. For instance, your head, which may weigh about 8 pounds, is sustained by neck and upper back muscles. But if the head becomes off kilter, these muscles must work harder or even strain to hold it up. The same is true for other areas of your spine.
How to Have Good Sitting Posture
If you’ve had bad posture for a long time, correcting it can feel unnatural or require extra effort. However, it is well worthwhile to get relief from pain! Here are some key points to keep in mind as you sit at your desk at work.
Hold Your Head and Shoulders Back
All too often, people who work at a computer desk all day hunch their shoulders and position their head forward because they are concentrating or can’t see the screen well. As previously discussed, this posture is detrimental to your neck and back. Your shoulders should be pulled back so that your spine can be as straight as possible, and your head should be held above the collar bone. Proper posture doesn’t place excess stress on your neck and back, reducing your pain.
Create a Comfortable Environment
Did you know that making your work environment more ergonomically friendly can make not only work hours more comfortable but also your time away from your desk. Getting a chair that supports your back, positioning the height of your screens to right at or just below eye level, and
Take Frequent Breaks
Sometimes, you can start out with good posture, but over time, bad habits come back. Especially if you’re on a deadline or “in the zone,” it can be tricky to remember to step away every now and then to stretch, stand, or go for a short walk. However, these short breaks are essential to help you reset your sitting posture.
Your body wasn’t meant for sitting for long periods of time. Unfortunately, if you have a desk job, you can quickly become sedentary in your free time as well, so when you aren’t working, try to be active. Movement can be as simple as taking the dog on a walk, exercising with your partner, or playing with your kids. Using your muscles and body will help you not feel as stiff when you need to sit for a couple of hours at a time.
Rather than slouching in your desk chair, maintain proper posture so that you can make it easier for your neck and back muscles. If you need additional help, you can also work with a chiropractor to realign your spine and minimize your discomfort.
About the Author
At Wills Chiropractic, Dr. Chad Wills has been practicing for more than 20 years. After graduating from the Life Chiropractic University in Atlanta, he has continued his training, earning certification in Chiropractic Biophysics. If you struggle with bad posture, he would be happy to not only treat your aching spine and muscles but also teach you healthier posture. To schedule an appointment with him, you may reach out to our Naples office by calling 239-331-6060 or visiting our website.
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