May 6, 2010 — The average American sits for 56 hours a week, often leading to poor posture. Spending all day tapping away on a keyboard, straining over paperwork, and then spending hours at home watching TV can have dramatic affects on posture.
Furthermore, sitting for extended periods of time year after year can have a negative effect on our overall health. It can add to decreased circulation, slower metabolism, challenge blood sugar balance, and create increased stress on postural muscle balance.
For Correct Posture Month ChicagoHealers.com Practitioner Dr. Helen Lee, DC offers the following tips for sitting healthy.
• Lumbar Support: Sit in a chair with back/lumbar support or put small pillow behind lower back; resting buttock, mid back on chair
• Sitting Posture: Have both feet flat on the floor with knees slightly higher than your hips or place step stool under your feet.
Elbows should be comfortable at your side or resting on an arm-rest. This allows your shoulders to be relaxed. Your shoulders should also be relaxed, down, and shoulder blades gently engaged (not rounded forward). Your head should be looking straight ahead and chin should be gently tilted down and in.
• Breathing: Focus on abdominal/belly breathing through the day to increase oxygen to body and stay relaxed.
• Sleep better: Make sure to have a mattress that offers support and one that can be “rotated” every few months to prevent body indentations.
• Hydrate: Drink water regularly.
• Move regularly: Get up every 15 minutes to 30 minutes to stretch, move, and breathe!