Whether you travel to a traditional office or telecommute from a coworking space, sitting for hours can lead to poor posture and pain, along with an assortment of other maladies. Spending multiple hours every day parked at your desk, hunched over a computer or smartphone takes a toll on your neck, shoulders, spine, and overall good health.
Several studies point to the dangers of sitting too long, which is associated with increased rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other conditions. Your mission: to give your body a break and help combat the toll of sedentary slouching.
Elevate your workspace to create an ergonomic workstation.
It's not necessary to buy a standing desk. In fact, suddenly going from sitting all day to standing all day can lead to other health problems according to some experts. Move your laptop to a counter-height work area for a short period to give your body a break. Or, raise your computer a little higher, so you're not looking down on it. Ideally, your screen should fall directly within your natural gaze. Pay attention to how your shoulders hang and where your wrists rest for maximum comfort.
Have a walking meeting.
Instead of moving from the chair at your desk to the chair in the meeting room, suggest you and your colleagues talk while strolling around the office, or outdoors. Doing so will also help keep the discussion brief and gives participants a break from extended sitting. A brisk walk gets your body moving, your blood pumping, and generates some energy to power through an afternoon slump.
Improve your posture with yoga.
One of the many benefits of yoga is the strengthening and stretching of the muscles along your spine and core. While there are many poses that help counteract hunched shoulders and craning necks, here are nine yoga moves that zero in on the problem areas caused by excessive hunching over a computer. A few minutes a day spent doing restorative yoga poses like these can help you stay strong, limber, and pain-free.
Get on your feet and move, stretching and walking around at least once an hour. Have a face-to-face conversation with a coworker instead of emailing, calling, or messaging. This also allows for recalibrating your body and mind.
Try back-friendly furniture.
Investing in a good office chair is like choosing a quality mattress for a better night's sleep - you spend hours every day there, so it should provide the comfort and support you need. An adjustable chair can be customized to your specific proportions to facilitate good posture.
Encourage employees to move.
If you are able to help employees achieve any of the above, it will benefit others and improve your bottom line. One study of workplace wellness that found that workers who believe their employer cares about their well-being are 38% more engaged at work and 18% more likely to "go the extra mile" for the company.
You may also like 10 Daily Habits That Lead to a Happier Life. For more of Diane's etiquette tips, visit her blog, connect with her here on The Huffington Post, "like" The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook, or follow her on Pinterest and Instagram.