Do you think you take breaks as much as you should while working? The average office worker spends something like 60,000 hours in a chair. Apart from that, you have already spent a considerable amount of time sitting in school, watching TV, and driving a car. Now, you may not have sustained any serious damage if you have been sitting in the perfect posture all that time, but the fact of the matter is – You don’t.
The Bad Sitting Theory
People are generally sloppy about sitting around. They only think about making the current situation work while sitting, what is comfortable NOW. We are all consumers of convenience and it’s difficult to think about the long term consequences of your actions while everything works in your favor. So, chances are that you were not sitting up straight and ensuring that your back is well supported and protected from sustaining long term damage over the years. The only time you start thinking about your back is when it gives you pain. You wait for your back to give you that ultimate distress signal to work things out. Now, you are worried.
Sitting is a lot of Work
The fact is when you sit for extended hours at your desk; you are putting your back under tremendous stress. Though you may not have realized it, sitting puts your back under twice as much pressure as standing. What happens when you apply pressure on a toothpick by bending it with a slight amount of pressure with your fingers and then keep increasing it? At some point, it will break. Your back can also only take a finite amount of stress. It is strong, no doubt. But it will give you pain and even break if you take it for granted.
Regardless of what you are doing, your back is constantly working to support your upper body weight. So, even if you feel you are in a relaxed position, you need to keep shifting your position to relieve the tension that is building up on your back.
So, how do you protect your back?
Posture is Everything
Again, you may have heard it a million times, but it’s important none the less. Sit up straight in your chair. No slouching or bending up, or stretching your neck up to look at the computer. You need to ensure that your bottom is in touch with the back of your chair and your shoulders are in contact with the back rest. Your arms need to be close to your body while sitting and resting on the table when typing. This is the ideal scenario. Work towards maintaining it in the beginning and it will fall in naturally over time.
Get Out of There
Set a timer and make sure you get out of your chair every half an hour to take breaks. You don’t have to go jogging or watch a movie. Just stand up, take a few steps, look around the room, and sit back down. That’s all it takes. Again, this is a habit you need to work on building. Your body will set the clock later on once it becomes a habit. Take time to massage the back of your head and neck while you relax your stomach muscles with slow relaxed breaths. This enhances your posture and cuts down on back pain by giving your spine strength and flexibility. So, give your back a break and take breaks every half an hour.