Firsthand deskbound advice!


Going back to school meant I had to put my own advice into practice.  Here are a few  things I did to take the strain off my body when sitting became mandatory!

  1. Invest in a book stand or document holder- Your posture remains more upright and your spine in more neutral alignment. This places less book holder1strain on the upper back and posterior neck muscles and, more book holder2importantly, the joints of the cervical spine.  Document holders placed adjacent to your computer screen also minimizes the rotation in your neck.  I found this the biggest strain and the easiest one to fix.  The picture shows the one I bought at Staples for $5.00.
  2. Sit on the edge of your chair every so often- We tend to allow the back of our chair to support and cushion the low back and it will happily curl forward until mild or moderately hunched in a nice little ‘C’.  Try moving forward to the edge of your chair; slightly offset your feet, allow your spine to lengthen.  Drop your shoulders, bring your head back over the rest of your body.  Tighten your abs for a moment to allow for some stability.  Take a deep breath and settle into this position for 5-10 mins or for however long it feels comfortable.
  3. Set time or task goals then take a break-  I found I could maintain a better focus and attention if I knew there was a break, albeit brief, after working for an hour or two or having completed a particular section of notes.
  4. Movement is your friend-   We need oxygen, hormones and nutrients flowing through our body and brain to be healthier and more productive.  Being at home, I had a dog to prompt me to get out for a short walk.  In the office you might want to find someone who would walk for 20 minutes at lunch with you.  At a bare minimum try to at least stand up every half hour, a good thing to do while on the phone.
  5. Forget not the power of choice-  Choice requires responsibility and accountability.   We are all human and have different situations that confront us every day.  We may not be able to do something for ourselves everyday and that’s okay, but be accountable for that and choose differently the next day.  It is amazing how, when we choose to make small changes to our lifestyle, how empowering it becomes.  Soon those bad habits will turn into good ones and the next thing you know you will have adopted a healthier, more vibrant lifestyle!
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