KALISPELL – As cold weather still covers most of Montana, sitting inside all day avoiding the elements can be detrimental to your back health.
MTN News spoke with Dan Arnolds — a physical therapist and certified ergonomist — to get some advice on how to properly sit and stand at work without straining your back.
Arnolds says if you are sitting at a desk all day, push your hips as far as they can go in the chair and use the support of the backrest.
Your computer should be right at eye level, to prevent neck strain. If you have a standing desk, make your posture active to prevent slouching.
The most important thing is to take active breaks and get your body out of a static position.
Even for folks that are doing manual labor all day. You should change up your activities, not repeating the same motions over and over again — it can put a strain on those muscles.
“Muscles will lengthen or shorten, based on that you’re going to have a lot of stress on joints, ligaments, tendons and that’s what creates a lot of posture imbalances which then can lead to a lot of those muscular-skeletal pains and disorders,” Arnolds said of the long term effects of bad posture.
Arnolds said that joints and ligaments can also tighten up if you’re nervously walking on the icy ground from your car to your home. In order to prevent some of this anxiety, he suggests wearing proper footwear or traction cleats to avoiding slipping and falling.
Reporting by Maren Siu for MTN News