Bad posture is an all-too-common byproduct of today’s workplace. So many of us spend ridiculous amounts of time slouched over our desktops, squinting into our smartphones, or reclining on furniture that was designed for comfort, not mechanical support.
Slouching has become an even bigger concern given the increased amount of time we have all been spending working from home. Often, home furniture is not crafted with ergonomics in mind, so spending long periods of time in these chairs and couches can wreak havoc on your spine. Consistently poor posture can lead to pain and soreness in muscles, joints, and ligaments.
But there are steps you can take to prevent slouching, the problems it can cause, and how to fix it, as well as some of the best products on the market to break the vicious slouching cycle.
Over time, slouching and bad posture can lead to chronic back and neck pain — some of the most common reasons for doctor’s office visits and missed work time. Neck pain, headaches, and even breathing problems can result from years of a poorly aligned spine. Additionally, there are aesthetic concerns that can accompany a slouched or stooped appearance.
It takes time for posture-related problems to develop, and it can also take time to resolve them. With as much as 80% of Americans experiencing a lower back problem at some point in their lives, the good news is that the problem is well-recognized, and there is a variety of solutions available.
Whether at home or on-site, the right workplace setup can make all the difference in your posture. Before you shop, keep in mind a few ground rules to improve your posture.
- Adjust the height of your chair so your knees are even with your hips.
- Make sure your feet can rest flat on the floor; if this is not possible, use a footrest.
- Keep frequently used items (phones, papers, basic office equipment) within easy reach.
- If using a standing desk, keep your head over your shoulders and your shoulders straight over your hips.
- If you work at a computer, adjust the height of the monitor so that you do not need to tilt your head upward or downward to look at the screen.
If you’re confident with your general setup but are still concerned about bad posture, it’s time to consider investing in some new hardware. Here are some of our slouch-busting favorites from across the web.
- Ergonomic office chair: The cornerstone of anti-slouching products is a great office chair. Features like backrests keep your lower back, the most common site for back pain, in its natural “S” position, with adjustable angles for the perfect working position.
- Standing desks: A trendy choice for posture improvement, these desks take the pressure off the spine and come in a variety of styles to match any need or environment.
- Seat cushion: You can greatly improve posture by relieving pressure on the lower back and tailbone. Seat cushions can also bring significant comfort to an otherwise basic chair. Even better, it achieves great results with minimal impact on your wallet.
- Footrest: Using a makeshift or specialty purchased footrest will keep your legs in proper alignment, ensuring your posture is playing it straight.
Ergonomic furniture is a useful addition to any office, but good posture support is important beyond the workplace. In fact, a range of wearable devices can travel with you wherever you go, gently adjusting your spine throughout the day. With these options, you’ll be walking tall in no time.
- Wearable posture correction: Strong but gentle braces are comfortable and wearable throughout even the longest of days. These posture braces are designed to stay comfortable over time and remain discreet under clothing.
- Support for women: Women’s bodies benefit from specialty support that is crafted to match their proportions. A specially designed body brace can provide midsection and back support, and aid in postpartum recovery.
- Adjustable comfort: Are you a shift worker who stays on your feet for hours at a time? These adjustable braces will see you through your shift and provide relief for chronic mid- and upper-back pain.
- Target the lower back: This brace specifically hones in on the lumbar region, a common source of back pain related to imperfect posture.
Disclaimer: BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.
- Here’s the truth about getting highlights when you’re pregnant
- How to make the most of a virtual doctor visit
- Here’s what you need to do to prevent plantar fasciitis
- Eco-friendly cleaning products to clean your entire home
- Good, better, best: Rowing machines worth the splurge