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Desk Jobs Cause Bad Posture – Here's How You Can Fix It

05 February 2024

If you think your desk job is challenging you professionally and mentally, you're downplaying your job. A desk job not only challenges you professionally but also challenges your body physically. Having to sit at your desk all day long might sound convenient when it poses many risks in reality.

Rarely do we see individuals who are conscious of their posture. Most people just sit at their desks, start working, and continue to sit in the same posture throughout the day. They don't realize the pain in their body, primarily the back, shoulders, and neck, they experience at the end of each day because of working in a bad posture at work.

Desk jobs put workers at high risk of posture-related health complications, including musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). If you don't make a conscious effort to correct your posture at work, you might end up with chronic pain that doesn't go away with simple painkillers.

This blog post highlights what sitting in a bad posture can do to your health and how you can fix it.

What Can Sitting in the Wrong Posture Do?

If your job requires you to sit at the desk from 9 am to 5 pm, you are at a high risk of developing health problems due to sitting all day long in the wrong posture. An increasing number of employers are investing in ergonomic office equipment for their employees. This isn't because it's a new trend but because they know what poor ergonomics at the workplace can do to the workers.

If you've never thought about how your bad posture at work can affect your health, read this blog post ahead to get to know all about it.

Weaken Your Legs and Glutes

If you don't use the muscles of your lower body, they'll become weak. By sitting all day, you aren't allowing the muscles to stay active. By active muscles, we mean muscles that contract and relax continuously to maintain the balance of the body. When you're sitting in a chair, there's no need for these muscles to work to maintain balance.

Long durations of inactiveness can lead to muscular atrophy, which is a condition in which muscles become weak and are at a higher risk of injury,

Chronic Back Pain

Sitting for too long in a bad posture can lead to chronic back pain as sitting in an incorrect posture can compress the spine's discs, leading to the spine's premature generation. This condition is extremely painful and can leave you unable to move at all!

Varicose Veins

Another serious risk of sitting in a bad posture for too long is a condition called varicose veins. When you are sitting in an office chair for long hours, the blood starts to pool in the legs. This can cause the veins of the legs to become swollen. Although varicose veins aren't painful initially, if you don't address the problem right away, they can lead to the formation of blood clots, which is when the threat to your health becomes high.

Pain in Shoulders and Neck

Shoulder and neck pain is the second most common complaint after back pain in individuals who work a desk job. When you're sitting in a bad posture for long hours, your back, shoulders, and neck are without any sort of support. Also, if you observe your posture, you'll see you're mostly sitting with a stiff body. This is what causes pain in your neck and shoulders.

Wrist Strain

Sitting in a bad posture and typing aggressively throughout the day also puts you at the wrist of straining your wrists. If you're sitting in an incorrect posture, your wrists won't be placed on the desk the right way, naturally. And continuing to work without providing your wrists the right support and ensuring that your hands and fingers are positioned at the right angles, your hands may feel numb, or you may feel a tingling sensation, which are signs of compromised blood flow.

How to Fix Bad Posture at Work

Sitting at work for extended hours can do a lot more to your health than you can ever imagine. Many workers who've got to stand at work all day long, like cashiers and chefs, often fancy a sitting job but trust us when we say there's nothing about a desk job that you should be fancying.

If you've got a desk job and go home with complaints of back, shoulder, and neck pain every day, know that your bad posture is to blame. You can only fix your problem by working to fix your posture at work.

Let's have a look at how you can fix your bad posture and bid farewell to posture-related health problems.

Practice Neutral Posture

The first and most effective way to correct your posture at work is to practice a neutral posture. Your spine naturally forms the shape S, and this natural S-shape is disturbed when you hunch or slouch. When the spine's natural curvature is altered, posture-related pains are inevitable.

You can sit in a position that ensures you're following the spine's natural curvature. Rest your back and shoulders on the backrest of your office chair, adjust the height of the monitor such that it's at your eye level so that you don't have to raise, lower, or tilt your head, and put the feet flat on the floor. You can also use a lumbar support cushion or pillow to ensure you aren't sitting in a slouched or hunched position at any time during the day.

You won't get used to the neutral posture in a day. It'll take some time to get used to it. So, give yourself time, make a conscious effort every day, and fix your posture before it's too late.

Use an Ergonomic Chair

Your best bet at fixing your posture at work is to switch to an ergonomic chair. Ergonomic chairs are designed specifically to help people who've got to sit at their desks all day long sit in the correct posture.

Some of the most noteworthy features of an ergonomic chair are:

1. Adjustable height so that the user can adjust the chair height as per their height. Taller people should sit on higher chairs and shorter ones on lower ones to ensure the feet are positioned flat on the floor.

2. Adjustable seat depth that helps the user adjust the seat size according to their physique. Sitting on regular chairs often causes the seat edge to poke into the back of the knees, which can disrupt blood circulation.

3. Swivel allows users to turn around to talk to someone or grab something off the shelves without having to twist their backs or stretch their bodies.

4. Armrests to provide support to the elbows

5. Flexible backrest to offer superior comfort and promote a neutral posture.

Replace Your Work Desk

Most workplaces have the same work desks for everyone. This means the desks will be too high for some and too low for others. If the desk is too high, not only will you have to stretch your back and raise your head, but you'll also have to position your arms and elbows at awkward angles. Similarly, sitting at a desk that's too low for you would mean you'll have to hunch your shoulders bend your neck, and head forward to work.

Ergonomic sit-to-stand desks are the best option. They can be converted to regular sitting desks or standing desks, allowing you to alternate between sitting and standing. Standing desks like the Pro Standing Desk (E5) can help you save yourself from the consequences of sitting for too long.

Use an Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse

Using ergonomic office equipment like an ergonomic keyboard and mouse can also help you fix your bad posture at work. Ergonomic keyboards ensure that your hands are placed on the keyboard at the right angles, and your wrists are supported well. An ergonomic mouse has softer and more sensitive keys, which means you don't have to press on them too hard.

Use a Monitor Stand

You should always use a monitor stand at work. It enables you to adjust the height of your monitor at your eye level and save yourself from the consequences of having your monitor placed too high or too low.

Consistency is the Key

Working on fixing your posture one day and then returning to old practices the next won't help you. You've got to be consistent with your efforts. As we've said earlier, your posture won't get fixed in a day. The correct posture may even feel uncomfortable because your body isn't used to it. The key here is to be consistent. Keep making conscious efforts until the correct posture comes naturally.

Closing Word

Realizing that you've been working at your desk in the wrong posture is the first step toward fixing it. Once you're past this step, you can invest in the right ergonomic tools to make your work desk ergonomic and your workplace safer for you.