Good posture helps prevent aches and pains AND helps you look fitter and healthier. After all, no one wants a hunch back.
Working at a desk is rarely conducive to good posture. Luckily there are some simple steps to make your work station easier on your body.
1. Clear all your clutter off of your desk and from under your desk.
2. Sit on your chair and adjust the height so your bent elbows are level with your desk.
3. Raise your monitor so the top is approximately level with your eyes. You might need someone to help you with this.
Most modern screens are height adjustable. You might also need to use books, reams of paper or a box to achieve the right height.
4. Sit back in your chair, with your low back and bottom against the back rest.
If the seat of your chair touches the back of your knees, it is too big! You may be able to slide the seat back in to a better position (there will be rails on the underside). If not, your chair is too big and you need a smaller one! The seat pan should be shorter than your thighs.
5. Pull your chair right under your desk so your tummy is close to the edge of the desk.
Move anything under your desk that gets in the way. If there are arms on your chair that get in the way, lower them, remove them, or find a chair without arms.
6. Stretch your arm out in front of you. Your screen should be at the tip of your outstretched fingers.
If your desk is too narrow just move it as far back as possible. If you can’t read the screen at that distance, get your eyes retested! You could also change your display settings to make text appear larger. Your monitor must be directly in front of you. Don’t even think about putting it in the corner or at a funny angle!
7. Don’t leave your feet dangling or resting on the chair wheels. If you can’t touch the floor (most people under 5’6″ will not be able to) get a foot rest.
A make shift version made of reams of paper or archive boxes works too. Just aim to have your knees bent at about 90′ – and don’t raise them above your hips.
Don’t cross your legs.
8. Bring your keyboard and mouse forwards so they are just a few inches from the desk edge. As with the monitor, keep them directly in front of you. You don’t want to turn your arm outwards in order to reach.
9. Most importantly, get up for a minute or two every hour. Go and make some tea or speak to a colleague. Your eyes and muscles become fatigued if forced to do the same task for hours on end, so do yourself a favour and take a break.
Following these instructions should leave you feeling a lot more comfortable. They are only a starting point though – everyone has different needs so you may well need to seek personalised advice. Speak to your employer if your desk is uncomfortable.
If you suffer with pain at work, you may benefit from osteopathic treatment, Give me a call on 020 8520 5268 (Walthamstow) or 07708130319 (Fulham) to arrange an appointment.
If you ever notice your self slumping forwards with rounded shoulders and a ‘hunched’ back, this exercise is for you!
1. Sit or stand upright with feet shoulder width apart.
2. Pull your shoulder blades together as shown above.
3. Hold for 5 seconds.
4. Repeat 6 times, once a day.
- You can make this exercise even better by also pulling your shoulders down towards the top of your hips.
It may feel a bit strange at first, but persevere as it really will make a difference. You can do this anywhere you like; at your desk, on the train etc.
Keep breathing normally while you stretch. Do not hold your breath.
Stretch gently and slowly. You should be able to feel a stretching sensation but it should not hurt.
If a stretch becomes painful, stop immediately and seek advice from your therapist.
Only perform stretches which have been prescribed or approved by a qualified individual such as your GP, physiotherapist or osteopath.
Another month has flown by meaning it is time for a month’s worth of news and articles. Pour yourself a coffee and enjoy.
Would watching an autopsy make you a better person?
As today is Mother’s Day, take a look at traditions of motherhood from around the world.
Did you know the word ok celebrated its 175th birthday this month? But where did it come from?
Oranges are famous for being high in vitamin C but there are plenty of foods with even more vitamin C. Here are 4 of them.
Turns out our bones are filled with goo, which allows them to bend a little and avoid getting broken.
Do you have whatappititis?
How many of these fitness myths did you believe?
I totally want to try this mint choc chip avocado smoothie.
Nearly everyone can benefit from taking up regular exercise, and yoga is a good option. The combination of stretching, relaxation and strengthening seems to work very well, and the expertise of a good teacher helps prevent injury.
There are a myriad of different classes available across London ( This article offers a good explanation of the various types).
Here are some close to my clinic at Ashlins in Walthamstow:
Yoga Me Happy
Contact: @yogamehappy1 / www.yogamehappy.co.uk / 07710 621 268
Premier Fitness Club, Finsbury Park. Tuesday 6.45-8pm
Peter May Sports Club, Walthamstow. Wednesday 12-1pm
Quaker Meeting House, Walthamstow. Thursday 6.30-8pm
Lloyd Park Bowling Pavilion, Walthamstow. Sunday 9.30-10.45am, 11-12.15pm
Contact: www.simonowen.org / 07973 523237
Leytonstone United Free Church, 55 Wallwood Road, Leytonstone, London. Monday 9.30-11am; Friday 12.30-2pm.
Quaker Meeting House, Bush Road, Leytonstone, London, E11 1HY Monday 7.30-9.30pm
Classes: Church Hill Studios, Stainforth Road Entrance – 6 Church Hill, Walthamstow E17 3RY. Saturday 7-9am
Peterhouse Centre, 122 Forest Rise, Walthamstow, London E17 3PW
Village Drop-in, Orford Road. Monday 7-8.15pm
Health Works, 111a Hoe Street. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays
To search for more classes try www.yoganearby.com
Have you tried any of these classes? How were they?
If you are recovering from a shoulder injury or noticing stiffness around your shoulders, try this gentle exercise.
1. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart.
2. Lean forwards from your waist.
3. Rest one arm on a chair, table or wall.
4. Allow your other arm to hang freely.
5. Gently swing your arm in a small circle.
6. Perform for 30 seconds clockwise and 30 seconds anti-clockwise.
7. Repeat this exercise on both arms, once a day.
You can make this exercise a little stronger by holding a light weight in your hand. A tin of beans works perfectly.
Please get advice from a qualified professional before embarking on any stretching or exercise program. These instructions are provided for reference only.
- Keep breathing normally while you stretch. Do not hold your breath.
- Stretch gently and slowly. You should be able to feel a stretching sensation but it should not hurt.
- If a stretch becomes painful, stop immediately and seek advice from your therapist.
- Only perform stretches which have been prescribed or approved by a qualified individual such as your GP, physiotherapist or osteopath.
February is finally over so it is time for my round up of the best in health news. Grab a cup of tea and enjoy!
The shortest month feels like the longest.
“People who believe in the cult of “superfoods”, of edible stuff that supposedly behaves like medicine, might as well believe that the Earth is held up by giant turtles.” Why I’m so Bored of Superfoods
Sitting all day is no good for you, and this article in the Washington Post explains why. Don’t sit on something wobbly like they recommend though.
Can computer games make you healthier? Apparently playing Tetris for 3 minutes can reduce the urge to eat, drink and smoke.
If you’re a runner, try this method of stretching your hamstrings.
What can your earwax reveal about you?
It is still a bit cold for camping, but it could help reset your body clock.
A reminder that dark chocolate is good for you.
If you’re in the mood for baking, try these fudgy avocado brownies. Yum!
If you like this kind of thing, follow me on twitter where I post interesting reads most days.
Have you read any good articles this month? Share them in the comments.