Do you spend your days at work sitting at a desk? If so, you are not alone. According to SafeWork Australia, 50% of us spend the majority of our workday sitting down, and that can lead to poor posture, as well as strains and tightness across our muscles.
Ergonomics, that is how your work station is set up, is important in reducing or minimising office injuries. Regular breaks, and interruptions from your sitting position are also beneficial.
Jamie Barianos from PhysioEdge at Mile End recommends paying particular attention to your posture when you are sitting at your desk.
“Your shoulders should be relaxed, shoulder blades slightly back and down towards your bottom, with your chin slightly tucked in and a slight curve in your lower back so you are not slouching,” Jamie says.
Some handy hints to improve your posture are:
Jamie says there are other factors that can also affect our posture, “Noise, lighting, room temperature and cabling or hazards can also affect the way we hold our bodies.”
Below are some easy stretches that you can perform throughout the day to keep your body limber and injury free. Each of these exercises should be repeated three times, feeling a comfortable stretch, holding each for up to 15-20 seconds. Ideally you should perform these exercises every 1-2 hours.
Jamie says nowadays a lot more people are utilising sit-stand desks. “These are a great way to reduce the amount of sitting we do, but it’s still a good idea to stretch your body out every 1-2 hours.”
A great way to help relieve stress or reduce injury after sitting for most of the day at work is to go for a 20-minute walk at least three times per week.
“You could also engage in some other physical activity such as going to the gym, doing yoga, Pilates or a sport,” Jamie says. “These can help general fitness, blood flow and wellbeing. It also encourages movement which we don’t achieve when sitting at the desk most of the day.”