Here at Mochi, our most common client complaint is upper body pain and stiffness from sitting at a desk or computer all day for work. That tension and stiffness can really interfere with clear, creative thinking during the day, as well as peaceful wellness and relaxation time in the evening - and years down the line, it can negatively influence the development of degenerative disease such as arthritis. We’ll show you three simple, free ways to reduce the strain on your body and preserve your alignment during your workday!
sit with a naturally-aligned posture.
Most furniture is hard on the human body, and office chairs are no exception. If yours has a seat that tilts, tilt it slightly downward so that your knees are lower than your hips when you sit - this encourages a naturally straight posture that relieves strain on the lower back and neck. If your chair seat doesn’t tilt, place a small folded towel or cushion under your sacrum when you sit to get the same effect. Remember, your knees should be lower than your hips, and it should feel easy and natural to sit up with a straight, relaxed spine - this is how you know you’ve achieved the optimal seat position.
open up the angles of your body.
Once you get the seat position correct, take a moment to notice how you are sitting in your chair. Are your knees, hips and elbows bent at 90 degree angles? What is your neck position like, especially when you reach for the keyboard? Notice where your body is bent into hard, uncomfortable angles, and soften them - move your feet out from your chair so your knees are at a 135 degree angle instead, move your elbows away from your shoulders, and pull your chair in so your neck doesn’t bend forward sharply. This decreases strain on the small stabilizer muscles around your joints, and increases circulation, preventing that “pins and needles” feeling.
take a break.
Our bodies are incredibly adaptable - so if we are constantly hunched over a computer, to some degree, the body will begin to conform to that shape. One easy way to slow this process down is to get up once per hour, for 1-5 minutes, and stretch! Our favorite? Draw your arms as far back and wide as you can, and let your head fall back so that your chin points up to the ceiling. Take three big deep breaths and sighs - this position relaxes the shoulder and neck muscles, enhances flexibility and circulation through the chest and arm muscles. The deep breathing will help clear your mind, keeping you sharp throughout your workday!