Humans sit. A lot. Don’t worry, we’re not going to tailspin into a rant about how nobody exercises and obesity rates among Americans. We’re talking about day-to-day, normal people. People who work in an office, school or behind a computer. Which is, after all, a majority of us. Moreover, it’s unsafe. Construction workers can’t afford to be unsafe, and neither can you.
You might not think that sitting all day is hard on the body. After all, it’s not cardio like running, nor is it intense physical activity like gardening or construction. But, sitting all day is hard on our bodies in another way. When we type on keyboards or laptops, often our wrists and fingers are in awkward, unnatural positions. Sitting behind a desk all day encourages you to slouch forward, hunching your solders. Or, leaking back in old, un-ergonomic chair puts stress on our spine. We can go on, but we think you get the idea.
Odds are you’re reading this on a computer. And odds are you’ve been sitting at a computer for awhile now, scrunching up your shoulders, squinting your eyes, etc. Now you feel it, don’t you? If your body is feeling kind of cramped, follow these tips below on how to sit safer and more comfortably.
-Make sure to stretch. They don’t have to be pro-athlete level stretches, but any bit will help. Hold your hands over your head for five seconds. Give yourself a hug for another five. Stand up, then try to bend down and reach your toes. After a few breaths, slowly roll-up to standing. Important note: Don’t bounce while stretching. It’s better to have long, deep stretches than bounce your body to reach further.
-Stand up once every hour. Even if you don’t go anywhere, stand up. Walk around your desk. Go walk to the office’s kitchen and back. Go get a drink of water.
-Speaking of water, make sure you drink more of that, and less of coffee and soda. Coffee is great (and I’m not going to lie and say a cup of coffee in the morning isn’t swell), but come 2:00-3:00 p.m. have a glass of water instead. Or try cutting out your lunch soda and replace it with water. Water will keep you better hydrated and feeling better in the long run.
-Are you one to make fun of the people who sit on bouncy balls or other weird, ergonomically-correct contraptions behind their desk? Well, shame on you. Their back is probably feeling better than yours right now. If you notice you chair is really bothering you, look into better options for sitting. Especially if you’re sitting bend a desk forty hours a week.
-If you’re typing a lot, make sure to do wrist circles to avoid carpal tunnel or other injuries.
-Give your eyes a rest. Staring at a computer or tv screen, small parts or items can put unnecessary strain on them. Leaving your desk and computer to walk around will give your eyes the well-deserved rest they sorely need.