Ergonom-misses: 7 things missing in your desk life that affect your fitness

man on stability ball working with tablet - correct sitting position at workstation

It is essential we nail down our body mechanics at work if we want to be successful in the gym. Tight muscles from improper posture at a desk can prohibit the right muscles from working, causing a cumulative injury cycle. Pain and injury lead to time out of the gym. Time out of the gym leads to set back in fitness goals. These 7 tips will help avoid that mess and keep you in the gym longer, healthier.   

Three Inches 

While at the desk, you most likely look much further down than healthy. Doing so causes excessive strain on the cervical spine and surrounding muscles. Hours of this over a lifetime is bound to cause structural deviation. Help avoid this dysfunction and keep your spine healthy for the gym. The top of your computer screen should be three inches above eye level. This allows the cervical spine to stay nice and neutral.

man on stability ball working with tablet - correct sitting position at workstation

 

One Arms distance, RECRUIT! 

As a recruit, I got stiffed-armed if coming to close to a drill instructor. You need to think of your computer screen the same. Keep at one arms distance from that thing. Any closer and you likely cause strain to your eyes. Any further and you likely jut your head forward to see the screen, causing excess stress the neck & back.

Nay Nay RETRACT those jaws

Every inch your mandible (bone under top lip) is over your clavicle (collar bone) is an added 10 pounds of pressure on your spine. Retract your head towards the wall behind you to prevent such pressure.

Saddle Up 

saddle seatA lot of low back pain stems from hip dysfunction. Check out a saddle seat to see how you can decrease the angle of your hip flexors while at a desk. Paired with myofascial release of the hip flexors and matching stretches, you can avoid and prevent a lot of pain in the lower back, skip less gym days and reach more goals.

ergonomic mouseThe mouse in your house

Avoid excess strain on your wrists and shoulder joints by investing in an vertical mouse. Neutral is always better in alignment of the body. When at a desk, neutral is palms facing inward. The vertical mouse does just that. 

Elbow, can you go?

Like the limbo, the goal here is to get low. Your keyboard should be as low as your elbows and close to your torso. Otherwise, you’ll likely elevate your shoulders which is like doing a shrug for 8-10 hours. Drop those elbows and free yourself from some wasted energy & stress.

The Ol Switch-er-roo

Switch to using your less dominant hand for the mouse every so often. This takes a little getting used to but worth every second. Save your muscles the overuse injury.

These little tips go a long way considering we can only combat the time we spent at work with the time we spend in the gym so much. Forever search for improvements in your work space. Doing so will optimize your time spent in the gym.

About

Stephanie Lane is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer & Corrective Exercise Specialist with 10 years of experience. She is a former U.S. Marine from Kansas City, Missouri and brings a can-do attitude to fitness and health. Stephanie has published a Meal Plan Recipe book which is currently under review for a second edition. She coaches clients online and in her business – G.I. Lane where food, fitness and flexibility are priority. Stephanie believes optimal health & fitness should be affordable, obtainable and effective for every individual and works hard to break barriers between people and their fitness. Visit gilanebrain.com to learn more.