“Stand up straight, shoulders back, head high!” - A common command we always heard growing upright? Although at the time it may have seemed like nagging, turns out, our parents and teachers had actually been onto something all along!
We all know that sitting and standing up straight can make us look and feel a whole lot better, but did you know it can actually help our concentration too?
Everyone’s had those days when working at a desk can feel like an endless battle. Sometimes we don’t even have a desk at all and we’re curled up on a bed or sitting hunched over on a couch. We push through the hours but our posture gets worse and our productivity goes out the window.
Poor posture has a direct link to the amount of oxygen supplied to your brain. Less oxygen means less blood circulation, which affects your brain’s neurones ability to make important connections. To cut the science talk, basically, this means that your brain works slower, you’ll quickly become more fatigued, less motivated and overall a less productive worker.
So how can you ensure this doesn’t happen?
The first step is to make sure you have a well set up workstation.
Your screen should be set up at eye level. You can do this by using a laptop stand or stack of books under your laptop, or if using a monitor make sure its stand is on a high enough setting. If you have no other option than to use your laptop on your lap, investing in a good lap table will help you maintain your angles.
As well as your head position, your arm position is just as important. When sitting at your desk, reach your arms out straight so that they touch your screen, now when you bring them back they will be in the correct place for your keyboard (approx. 90degrees). Having your feet flat on the floor and knees pointing straight forward will also help with the alignment of your hips and lower back. All of these steps will help to make sure that your shoulders are not rolling forward and your spine is positioned straight!
Physical adjustments are also a great way to maintain your posture while working. Every 10 minutes or so, take a deep breath, pull your shoulder blades together and push your chest out. You can try this manually or with the help of a posture corrector device. Also, make sure to take a break of about 10 minutes per hour of sitting. Get up, move around and stretch out your back. This will immensely help your brain activity by getting the blood pumping, but also will have re-aligning effects on your posture!
Overall, your posture is not something to panic about, start small by setting up a comfortable workspace and be conscious about how you feel when you’re sitting there.
Over time, you’ll begin to notice improvements in your concentration and productivity, meaning less of your day will be spent sitting at your desk, and more time doing the things you love!
Less work, more life, what could be better?!