Between desk jobs, driving, and relaxing on the couch after a long day, many of us spend a lot of time sitting. But a number of recent studies show sitting for long periods of time can have negative health impacts—increasing your risk for certain diseases, and shortening your lifespan to name two! Using a standing desk or limiting the amount you sit when not at work are great options, but there are other ways to limit the impact chair perching has on your body.
The way you sit makes a huge difference. In fact, poor posture can lead to neck, back, and joint pain. Just think about the position you put yourself in when you lean over your cell phone to send a text message. There’s so much pressure on your body it’s the equivalent of carrying a 60 lb. weight around your neck! The resulting pain has become so common, it has its own name: text neck.
Pain isn’t the only thing you have to worry about. Bad posture can actually alter your body, creating shorter muscles and a curved spine that can make you look shorter and even potbellied. Ready to improve your posture? Here’s the best way to approach spending time in a chair.
1. Sit better Sit with your shoulders back and down—not scrunched up by your neck—and consider investing in an ergonomic chair that also supports your back.
2. Ride that seat Pretend you’re in a saddle and sit up tall in your chair, keeping your ears level with your shoulders. Align your shoulders with your hips, and your keep your knees over your ankles. When you’re sitting correctly, you should have a slight curve in your lower back.
3. Take breaks Make it your goal to get up at least once every 20 minutes. Do some light stretching, or walk around a little to improve your circulation.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.