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Mistakes in sitting posture and how to correct them

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sitting posturePhoto: Shutterstock

Most people don’t give much thought to how they sit, and proper sitting posture has often been brushed aside as a result. However, sitting postures could have a direct impact on your health or mood, and sometimes lead to lowered productivity at work.

We highlight some common sitting posture mistakes and what you can do to improve them.

The Hunchback
No matter how tempting it may be, avoid slouching or leaning forward in your chair, especially when you are feeling tired after sitting for a long period of time.

This hunched posture leads to your spine becoming curved, resulting in pain and aches in the neck, shoulders and back. Being in this position for too long could also result in the loosening and weakening of the muscles in the upper back.

Solution: Remind yourself to sit up straight if you catch yourself slumping forward. Ensure your back is aligned against the back of the chair and keep your shoulders straight. A little exercise to unwind, like rolling your shoulders up and backwards from time to time, also helps.

Head held too high or too low

The best position for your computer screen is right at your eye level. If your screen is too high and you find yourself looking up to gaze at it comfortably, it will cause the muscles in your neck to tighten. Likewise, if you find yourself having to look down all the time, the muscles in your neck and back will have to do more in order to support your head.

Solution: Spare your muscles the trouble by adjusting the screen or the height of your chair to your eye level.  To do this, sit comfortably while facing forward and close your eyes. When you re-open them, your gaze should be aimed at the center of your computer screen.

If you are still experiencing a little bit of strain in your neck, drop your chin downwards and in towards your neck. This will stretch the muscles at the back of the neck and help to relieve the pain.

Stay Active
Even if you’re employing all the right tactics, the fact remains that being sedentary for a prolonged period is not good for your back. As such, remember to stand and stretch occasionally, or take some time away from your desk by going for a short walk. Even a trip to refill your water bottle or a visit to the washroom will help.
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