Sitting at a desk Monday through Friday might not be the most exciting thing in the world, but could your office job actually be hurting you physically? A number of studies show that just sitting for 9-10 hours a day (so basically your typical work day, and that's without commuting and relaxing outside of work) can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even cancer.
But according to Dr. Ian Smith, the most commonly known issue that stems from sitting too much is bad posture. The head weighs about eight pounds or more, he says, so you tend to hunch forward as a natural position. "In fact when you're sitting down, you have 90% more pressure in your lower back than when you are actually standing up," Dr. Ian says.
He shares a few products that could help improve your posture over time and keep you more comfortable when you do have to sit for an extended period.
Product #1: Upright Wearable Posture Trainer
Dr. Ian had one of our audience members help him demonstrate a product called the Upright Wearable Posture Trainer, which connects to the Upright app and can help improve your posture while sitting.
To use the product, you need to sync the Upright Wearable Posture Trainer to the Upright app and attach the device to your upper back. Real-time feedback in the app helps you track and train your posture. When you're hunched over and out of alignment, the device vibrates gently, reminding you to readjust.
See how it works in the video above!
Product #2: Posture Medic
Next, Dr. Ian had our audience member try on the Posture Medic, which is a "posture reminding resistance band" — AKA a back brace that you can wear under your clothes. You fit the straps over your shoulders and back to help stabilize your posture throughout the course of the day.
HOW TO SIT FOR BETTER POSTURE
The doc also demonstrates the "right" way to sit in a chair. Start by making sure that your chair is the correct height — not too high and not too low. Adjust your chair so that you can sit with your legs parallel, your feet flat on the ground about shoulder width apart. You want your elbows and arms at a perfect 90-degree angle. And, you want to sit close enough to your desk so you don't feel any tension in your elbow bend.
Product #3: Portable Lumbar Support
For additional support while sitting at your desk, in the car, on a plane and pretty much anywhere else, the doc says you can buy a portable lumbar support pad — or use a throw pillow — that rests against the curvature in your lower back to prevent stress and strain. And again, this should help your posture!