As we’ve spent more time in unconventional work spaces this year, we know that the need for ergonomic awareness is higher than ever! Regardless of where you’re working or where your kids are learning, here’s a quick guide for setting healthy posture habits for your whole family.
Get the Right Angles
The “right” angles aren’t just for taking great selfies! The healthiest posture for seated activities is to keep your joints at a 90 degree, or a right angle. Make sure the seats and desks you use in your home and office can help you keep these angles comfortably. Lounging to read a book once in a while is ok, but keeping your body at odd angles for long stretches of time every day can lead to bigger problems down the road!
No Bent Wrists
Carpal tunnel is one of the most common ailments caused by workplace-related tasks. It doesn’t just affect those who type all day, either. Vibrating machinery and repetitive hand motions of any kind can cause it. To protect against it, make sure you keep your wrists straight and unbent while you work. If that’s not possible, take frequent breaks to stretch your hands and wrists to avoid pinching and damaging your nerves. For wrist-friendly handwriting, try to remember, and encourage your kids, to make writing motions from your elbow, rather than bending their wrists too much. Also, keeping a loose grip on writing utensils will keep from straining the nerves and tendons of children’s growing hands and wrists.
One major thing that helps you keep healthy posture is to keep your feet flat while you’re sitting. Kids and people on the shorter side may find that sitting at desks meant for taller people make their feet dangle in midair. This can lead to pinched nerves in the lower back, hips and knees. In serious situations it can even cause blood clots! To keep your feet on a flat surface, you can buy an attractive footstool at just the right height, but there’s also nothing wrong with putting a box under your feet, too! Even if it feels silly at first, your back and leg joints will thank you!
Take Frequent Breaks
Even with every gizmo and gadget meant to alleviate posture pain, the number one recommendation from ergonomic experts for a healthy posture is to take frequent breaks from your work or study station. Sitting for more than 8 or more hours a day has been shown to be as bad for your health as smoking! But, it’s easy to counteract the effects. At least once an hour, get up and stretch or take a quick walk around your workplace. Even workers with active jobs should take regular breaks. While your kids are studying, encourage them to try reading and listening while standing or pacing to change things up throughout the day. It’s good for our bodies, and our brains!