The solution to increasing productivity isn’t just getting your inbox to zero, although that helps. It’s not keeping a detailed task list, though that helps too. It’s actually far simpler to implement in your daily routine and it’s all about good posture. Do yourself a favor and take a yoga class to work out some of your back tension. Beyond that, simply changing your work habits can do wonders for your life and your spine.
It starts with sitting up straight–we were all taught that in school. What we didn’t look at was that most of us would end up working on computers, causing us to slouch over keyboards. This restricts airflow in the lungs, causes us to take short breaths that don’t circulate throughout our body and that’s plain bad.
Just by sitting up, you could increase the amount of oxygen coursing through your body by 30-percent.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, you can follow a few rules to correct your posture and adjust it throughout the day.
First, be sure that your buttocks are touching the rear of the chair and sit up with your back straight and your shoulders back. Place a small pillow, or a rolled up towel at the natural curve of your back to provide a bit of extra support as you’re sitting. Your body weight should be evenly distributed across your legs and hips with your feet flat on the floor.
When you work, your elbows should rest comfortably on your desk’s arm rests. You should also avoid any strain on your shoulders or back as you type.
When you get up–which you should do every 30-60 minutes–lean forward with your back straight and straighten your legs to stand. The clinic also recommends ten standing back bends to encourage back flexibility.
The Advantages to Proper Posture
Posture helps increase the oxygen in your blood flow by opening up your lung cavity to take in more air. It also aligns your bones and joints properly to maintain the natural curve of your spine. Improper posture places undue stress on parts of your back, especially the lower back and shoulders, that will cause pain over time. Good posture is also associated with good appearance, as it makes one appear strong and taller than a sloucher, who appears closed off to others.
The Ideal Workstation
The ideal work station leaves your body feeling comfortable and aligned. This reduces stress on the body over time, and increases energy. Ergonomic chairs from Sit Better promote good posture by aligning the hands, wrists and forearms in a straight line. A computer monitor riser will help promote good head position with your chin up and your eyes forward, instead of craning your neck to see a screen.
Be sure to lower your chair so that your feet rest comfortably on the ground, legs spread slightly apart to distribute weight evenly across your body.
From there you can make small adjustments to meet your individual needs. If you are prone to wrist pains, add some support to make typing and general computing easier on your hands. Practice stretches with your wrist and hands to keep joints loose and limber.
Some professionals have even begun using adjustable desks that allow you to transition from sitting to standing. This enables you to continue working while you promote good posture. Just remember to breathe. All of that extra lung capacity does nothing if you don’t focus on using it. Too often our stress causes us to take short breaths.
Breathe deeply, focus and then add things to your task list.
About the Author: This article is written by Tara Miller