For many people, work tends to require sitting down for most of the day, often at a desk in an office. When I used to have chronic lower back pain and repetitive strain injury (RSI) in my arms and hands, I focused so much on getting the ‘correct’ kind of chair, and mouse, and keyboard, and desk height, and mouse position, and monitor position and so on. I think this helped a little, but what made the most difference was focusing on the body that I was bringing to the desk. This is best advice I can give you. Do daily posture correction exercises that improve the balance of your muscles, so that your body can cope better with the demands that sitting at a desk places upon it. In this video, Pete Egoscue, Posture Specialist and founder of The Egoscue Method, shows you some exercises and tips to do this.
As well as working on bringing a more balanced body to your desk, I think it can also help to mix up your workstation. In the office your body can often be in the same position for long periods with little variety. To tackle this, put a reminder in your calendar for every Monday to mix up your workstation a little. Perhaps raise the chair height by an inch, move the monitor a little to the left, move where the mouse is slightly etc. Every week create a different workstation environment but one that is still solid ergonomically – it won’t take long.
You can also try to move more during the day by getting up every half an hour or at least once an hour, and going to the toilet, getting a glass of water etc. Try going on a short walk for lunch. Make phone calls while standing up or walking around the office. Have a ‘walking meeting’ – where instead of sitting down for your meeting, you walk outside with your colleague(s) and discuss the matter at hand.
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Ameet Bhakta BSc, DipHE – I’m a Posture Correction Specialist certified by the Egoscue Institute, and founder of Health Through Posture.