Certain jobs require hours of sitting at a desk with our eyes staring at a computer. When concentration on work demands takes precedence over how we hold our body in space, the effects are damaging for our health. From our head down to the tips of our toes, we can create pain in the body. Slumped shoulders and forward head posture adds loads of extra pressure on the neck, shoulders, back and spine. Not only does posture affect pain, but how we care for our feet affects our health as well. Ever wonder where those aches and pains come from?
Adjust your view and take care of those toes when your "work life balance" isn't so balanced.
Keep it eye level
Sitting all day and looking down at your monitor will put strain on your neck and back muscles from a constant forward head position. Pain, injury, poor breathing, and many other negative outcomes can occur because of this. What to do?
- Place several books underneath a laptop computer in order to keep the screen eye level. Regular desktop computer? No problem! Adjust your chair up or down to keep your gaze straight ahead.
- Once the screen is level with the eyes, the ears should match over shoulders, shoulders over ribs, and ribs over hips.
- Prop your spine up against the back of the chair to ensure you are sitting upright.
- Sit on your "sitting bones" (ischial tuberosity, the bones at the bottom of your pelvis) to keep your pelvis in a neutral position.
- Place both feet flat on the floor and avoid crossing the legs.
- Pay attention to how often you sit with legs crossed and be more mindful of those habits everyday.
Take your shoes off
Most shoes are too small or narrow for us and can lead to discomfort in our entire body over time. The bones of our toes are meant to spread and move freely instead of compressed in a shoe for 8 hours a day. The fascia (thin fibrous connective tissue) is interconnected from the arches of our feet all the way up the body from front to back. Because of this, our feet are the door to the health of our body as a whole. What happens in our feet could affect our knees, hips, back, shoulders, neck, breathing, and mental state as well.
- While sitting, move your ankles around in circles. Use your feet to spell out words in cursive. Or if you have a meeting that day, spell out what you’re going to say. This movement will keep the ankle’s mobility in tact.
- If you don’t have therapy balls or a tennis ball to use, try a sturdy water bottle and roll it under your feet to hydrate stiff, lifeless tissues.
- Invest in shoes that allow your toes to spread and offer support for your arches. You won't regret it.
Most importantly, give yourself breaks throughout the day to get up, walk around, and move your body the way it’s mean to.