Small changes to your posture really matter. Bad sitting habits can catch up with you in the long run. Just from things like slouching to crossing your legs at work, you can open yourself up to serious injuries and chronic pain. The good news is most of these issues can be prevented. Regardless if you are big or small in size, use a sit-stand desk or just a regular office chair, there are creative ways to make your desk setup better and improve your posture.
Perfect the Perfect Arm Position
An aspect of our posture that is often overlooked is our arm positioning. The way we hold our arms and hands is very important. Imagine sitting with your arms stretched and extended forward. Your shoulders will start to rotate forward. This causes you to lose strength in the muscles in your upper back. If you want to avoid shoulder injuries and chronic upper back pain, you should keep your arms at a comfortable 90-degree angle. This is important to remember whether you use a sitting or standing desk. In addition to the angle, your arms should be in a nice, neutral resting position. Chairs come with armrests for a reason. Don’t be afraid to let them help you. Use them for support.
Posture and The Keyboard Tray
In virtually any work environment, the keyboard is a necessary element of working on a computer. Many keyboards and keyboard trays come with wrist supports. These supports help to keep your wrists in a neutral, relaxed, almost straight position. Even though you may want to use them all the time, wrist pads are just supposed to be for brief rests. Their actual purpose is for when you are not typing. When using a mouse, some people find the wrist pads handy. While typing or using the mouse, try to raise your forearms a little. This will put your wrists in a neutral position.
Your arms and hands will be able to move freely. Your arms should be parallel to the floor. If you have armrests on your chair, you may be able to adjust them to this position and remember to keep your wrists neutral. How do you know your wrist is in a neutral position? Your wrist is in a neutral position when your thumb is in line with your forearm and your wrist is bent back slightly. You may choose to alternate between resting your wrists on the pads and lifting them up. If you do decide to use a wrist pad, it is best to rest your palm or the heel of your hand on the support, instead of your wrist.
Change Is Never Easy
When you make a change in your posture it will take some getting used to. It will not feel all that great at first. In fact, the ideal posture is rarely the most comfortable. Even though that is true, that doesn't mean you should give up and give in to any long-standing bad habits. Try to slowly incorporate these changes. Try for five minutes every half hour just to get going. This will help you to get your body adjusted to a healthier posture, and over time, sitting properly won’t feel awkward at all. In the end, your body will thank you.