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How to sit properly

Many office workers are at their desks all day, five days a week, eight hours a day, all week long. All that sitting adds up and now that summer is over, we may be sitting a lot more.

In addition to the achy shoulders, back, and neck pain you get from sitting too long, other parts of your body may be affected. Your risk of metabolic syndrome increases, as does your risk for heart attack and stroke.

So, what is the correct way to sit? Your bottom should be all the way to the back of your chair with your back resting against the seatback. Your feet should be flat on the ground, your posture should be straight with your head elevated slightly.

What are common sitting mistakes? Usually, those that sit for extended periods of time tend to slump forward with rounded shoulders, and their head bent forward. This position can create changes in the normal spinal curves in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spinal regions. It also causes headaches, fatigue, and affects the way we digest food and our ability to breathe deeply.

What can you do to combat the slump? Movement should be a priority. For each hour of sitting, you should stand or walk for 5-10 minutes. This bit of movement helps with blood flow, decreases fatigue, and assists in proper posture.

Another trick is to use your hands to push up from the seat, stretching your spine upwards.

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