If you are like me, you probably spend way too many hours sitting behind a desk at work or at home. Well, if you’re also like me, you’re looking to find ways to be more productive. It turns out there is a way to achieve both. Continue reading to learn how to improve posture at work which can in turn boost your productivity.
Correct posture is definitely something I struggle with, and I am sure a lot of other people do as well. There are so many things to consider when you are trying to maintain good posture when you are sitting at work.
What is good posture anyway?
When you’re sitting at your workstation at work, you have good posture if you:
- Keep your feet flat on the floor
- Have your monitors at a height so your neck is not strained
- Maintain the curve in your lower back
- Have your knees bent at a 90 degree angle
- Sit with your shoulders back
There is a lot to remember when you are sitting down at work unless you are in the ergonomics industry. I can tell you I generally don’t pass more than two of the characteristics above on any given desk session.
I find myself continually slouching, rounding my shoulders, and my lower back. Sometimes I wonder how I allowed myself to slump that far in the first place.
Posture and productivity
There’s a few ways that better posture improves productivity. First, and this is going to seem a bit simplistic, but when you are comfortable your mind isn’t distracted thinking about your discomfort.
Second, assuming correct posture allows for proper blood flow as well as breathing patterns. Breathing in allows your lungs to oxygenate your blood. When you breathe wrong there’s a number of negative effects leaving you with an overall feeling of lethargy. When you’re tired, your productivity declines dramatically.
Finally, poor posture can bring on long-term health issues including encouraging carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic back pain and even digestive issues.
Improving your posture at work
I have given this a lot of thought lately, and I have come up with some suggestions based on what has worked for me. These tactics are easy, but can be challenging to implement. But, with some self-awareness and continual reminders, you can do it.
Take A Walk
I do this pretty frequently while I am at work. Walking has become a mainstay for me. Walking helps me with back pain; it also helps with posture. When I am either bored with a project or find myself yawning a lot, I go for a walk.
Whether it’s just around the office, or around the block, I love to get out for a walk and take a break from work. A quick walk helps to boost my energy level and really gets the blood flowing. This helps me to refocus on work and gives me a chance to destress a bit.
Try A Posture Corrector
I have recently been using a posture corrector called BetterBack, and it is pretty amazing. BetterBack is easy to use and very comfortable. It goes around your lower back and has a strap that hooks around your knees. BetterBack is really a posture corrector AND back support.
Here is what I love about BetterBack:
It zips into a nice little case that you can take with you anywhere.
The foam material for your back is really soft and comfortable to wear.
- Knee pads
The pads that hook over your knees are soft and comfortable as well.
- Easy to use
In just a few seconds, you can be on your way to better posture.
The idea is to “make any chair ergonomic” as the company says, by re-training your posture. Using BetterBack for as little as 15-minutes per day can really help improve your posture. I have also been dealing with tailbone pain lately, and when I use BetterBack, my tailbone feels a lot better when I stand up. So far it’s a win-win.
BetterBack is easy to use and has been working really for me so far. For more information, check out our complete BetterBack review.
Use A Lumbar Support Cushion
You probably know that a lot of chairs do not have great support for your low back. A lumbar support cushion can come in very handy in these cases. I have used several different models over the years, and assembled a list of the best lumbar support cushions if you are interested in my experiences.
The great thing about using a lumbar support is that you can use it while you are driving, or take it with you while you travel, too.
Get A Stand-Up Workstation
I have a sit-stand desk in my home office and at work. I honestly can’t imagine working without being able to stand up during my workday. Some of my co-workers sit all day long, occasionally getting up to use the restroom. I don’t understand how people can do that, sitting all day is not for me.
A stand-up or sit-stand workstation is an excellent option for improving posture at work. Varying your posture is a great way to train yourself to sustain better posture.
Check Yourself Out
When I walk around the office, inside or out, sometimes I will notice my own reflection in a window or a mirror. Not that I am checking myself out (I am not so vain), but I can see my posture in the reflection.
I can see if I am leaning too far forward when I walk, something I have had to work on throughout my life. I can also see if I am walking with my chin up and not down. Seeing my reflection lets me know if I am maintaining good posture while I am walking.
It’s all about training myself to make sure I am doing the right things for improved posture, whether I am at work or not.
Reduce Sedentary Time
Setting a timer helps me remember how long I have been sitting so I can stand up and work. The timer also helps me know when it’s time to take a walk which I do several times throughout the workday. Setting a timer is an excellent way to remind yourself that it’s time to adjust your posture.
Even if you don’t have a variable height workstation, a timer can be used as a reminder to straighten up.
Conclusion: How to improve posture at work
Improving posture at work is something that takes time and constant attention. Many of us have spent years developing bad habits, and those are hard to break. But remember, anything you have learned can be unlearned.
These are tactics I have used in my battle against back pain and poor posture, and I am improving. If nothing else I am more aware of maintaining better posture throughout the day, and that is half the battle.