We've all heard it time and time again, desk jobs are bad for your health. It leads to bad posture, chronic pain, stiffness, low energy levels and as one quote goes "sitting is the new smoking". There aren't many good things about sitting and we all know this but what are the options? Most of us sit a desk, as I'm doing to write this, because it is part of our job and how we pay the bills. So what can we do counteract all of this necessary sitting? Here are four quick tricks to help revamp your daily desk habits.
1. Fix Your Text Neck
More and more of our work is transitioning from the PC to the phone or tablet, not to mention the time we need to stay current with what's happening on Instagram. Instead of staring down at your phone with slumped shoulders and neck (Picture 1) let's revamp the posture we use when texting and writing emails.
Sitting up taller instantly looks better and relieves tension in our neck. Then by bringing the hands out in front we can place our shoulders into a more stable position. Now we can legitimately say that keeping up with your Insta feed is bettering your posture. Who knew this was possible?
2. Hydrate to Happiness
One of the hardest things to do at work is to stay properly hydrated. By the time you're thirsty your body is already in a dehydrated state. Our bodies need water to regulate temperature and digestion, remove waste and improve BRAIN function. The normal routine is probably a coffee in the morning, maybe something to drink with lunch and another coffee in the
afternoon. It's not that you don't want to drink more but once you get into the routine of the day it's hard to remember to keep filling the tank. One tangible way to drink more is to take the corner of a post-it note and stick it on the edge of your computer. Every time you notice the post-it, take a drink. You'll be amazed how much better you feel when you're drinking consistently throughout the day.
3. The Posture Problem
Desk and computer work are not conducive to good posture, end of story. Even with an ergonomic set-up we will still slouch, dip and contort our bodies into horrible postural positions throughout the day. One quick tool to use is the hands on chest posture reset. Place your hands across your chest while rolling your shoulders down and back. Look straight ahead, tuck in your abs and pull in your rib cage.
It won't leave you with good posture all day but it is a great way to remind your brain of the position your body should be in. In addition to resetting your posture it will also help you to be mindful of the tension that might have been developing in your neck, shoulders and back as you read the latest useless email from team-leader Dave down the hall.
4. The 3% Roll Out Rule
What about if you took just two minutes every hour to roll a ball through your forearms, traps or hips. A quick roll of the upper traps as pictured below, can provide great relief to your neck and shoulders. This doesn't even necessarily have to interrupt your work depending on the area you're rolling. However, even if it does take two minutes out of your work time don't you think feeling better, more relaxed and in less pain will lead to an increase in production during the other 58 minutes? And if you're still looking for 2 minutes in your hour just hit the block sender button on team-leader Dave's emails.
These tips are meant to be quick and easy to implement. They are all manageable solutions for you to use right away without having to be the oddball doing burpee's in your office.
Perhaps you would like some dedicated work to correct your posture or help manage some of your daily habits that are negatively influencing your health. If you are having chronic pain that is persistent and related to your desk or work life please contact us for an appointment. We would be more than happy to chat with you and help you find some long term solutions.