Do you sit in a chair for a long period of time? 6+ hours in a day?
What happens to your posture when you sit at your desk all day and what you can do to prevent the dreaded hunchback?
Sitting in a chair for long periods of time can cause the following:
- Slumped posture
- Subsequent tight shoulders and neck
- Tight hips
- Tight, sore back
- Weak, inactive glutes
- Weak abdominals
…AND ULTIMATELY CAUSE POOR POSTURE!
All of the symptoms of sitting poorly in your chair can have a detrimental effect on your health. If you are reading this blog, you probably know what I am talking about!
Work stress and deadlines are going to be unavoidable at times, so it is important that you look after your own health first. Poor posture can affect your energy levels, strength, and flexibility and ultimately leave you feeling unmotivated and tired.
The good news is, there are steps you can take to fix your office desk posture! Below I have listed my 3 steps to improving your office desk posture. Follow these and I guarantee you will notice a positive difference to your physical and mental wellbeing.
3 Steps To Fix Your Office Desk Posture
To counterbalance the toll that office work can take on your body, it is important to first and foremost be conscious of your posture when you are sitting at your chair.
Developing an awareness of your posture is half the battle in my opinion! You can stretch all you like after work but if you continue to slump in your chair for long periods of time, your posture will never get the chance to improve.
I am a firm believer that in order to train our body the right way, we first need to train the mind to acquire body awareness.
Changing your desk space
Its time to break those bad office desk habits! Below, I have outlined some simple ways that you can improve your desk space:
- Sit back and keep your ears in line with your shoulders
- Uncross your legs
- Pull your shoulders back and down
- Try using a lumbar (lower back) support
- Make sure you get up walk around at least once every 2 hours.
- Bring your keyboard closer to you so that you don’t slump forward to reach it
- Place a reminder on your desk to sit up straight and stretch every few hours
Pilates is comprised of two components; stretching and strengthening. It is a perfect form of exercise for correcting poor posture.
If you have slumped shoulders, Pilates will:
- Stretch your chest, and neck muscles
- Strengthen your back and shoulders
If you have an excessive curve through your lower back and subsequent back pain, Pilates will:
- Stretch out your lower back and hips
- Strengthen your glutes and abdominal muscles
If this sounds like you, I would highly recommend adding regular Pilates classes to your routine! Aim to attend a class 2-3 per week for at least 10-15 weeks and see if your posture improves. I can guarantee you, it won’t be a waste of your time and you will start to find long days at your desk much more bearable!
Can’t get to a class or want to ensure that you’re keeping on top of keeping your posture (and health)? Here are 3 simple exercises that you can do at your desk.
Note: you will need a resistance band. I would recommend purchasing one and leaving it at your desk.
Hold for 10 seconds on each side
Repeat x3 each side
Place one hand underneath your leg and gently tilt your head to the other side
Arm circles using a resistance band
Complete 10 reps
Hold onto your resistance band
Keep your shoulders back and down
Circle your arms back behind you
Note: if you have a shoulder injury, skip this stretch!
Complete 3 sets of 10 reps
Keep your elbows in by your side, imagining they are superglued to your top
Hold onto your band with your palms facing up and then proceed to press your forearms out
Your wrists should stay in line with your elbows the whole time
Stay open through your chest and visualise pinching your shoulder blades together as you press your arms out
Slowly return your forearms back in
Poor posture can drain you both physically and mentally! Try my 3 steps to improving your office desk post posture and I guarantee you will notice a positive difference to the way you look and feel!
Do you stretch at your desk?
Alex is a qualified Personal Trainer, Pilates Instructor and Registered Nurse.
She started working in the fitness industry as a personal trainer when she was 18 while studying at university to become a Nurse. It was after a few years of Personal Training that she discovered her love for Pilates!
Pilates quickly became her favourite type of exercise and she could not get enough! Her passion for Pilates led her to start up Duo Pilates, a Pilates studio in Morningside, Brisbane in 2016.
Alex is big on educating her clients about their movement while taking them through an intensive Pilates workout. She believes that in order to train our body the right way, we first need to train the mind to acquire body awareness.
Keep an eye out for her Pilates E-Book coming soon called ‘The Duo Pilates Method’ packed with 12 weeks of programmed Pilates classes that you can do from home.
You can follow Alex on Instagram @duopilatesauor get in contact with her via email firstname.lastname@example.org