Take a second to consider your current posture. Bring close attention to your head, neck, shoulder and spine position. Is your head hanging forward, hinging at your neck? Are your shoulders rounded in as you rest your hands on your keyboard? Perhaps your back is hunched over to be eye-level with your screen.
Keep this posture up and you’re in danger of wreaking havoc on your spine, killing productivity and putting yourself at risk of a lifetime of back and neck aches.
Now, take another second to correct your posture to something a little more in accordance to what your chiropractor might recommend. Lift your chest and contract your abs to lengthen your spine and feel each vertebrae comfortably stacked on top of each other. Pull your shoulders back, and readjust your head position so that the top of your head is aligned with your spine.
How do you feel?
According to chiropractors, physical therapists, and numerous studies carried out by psychologists and scientists, this small change in your posture is known to have wide-ranging benefits on a person’s health, well-being, and even productivity. Some of these benefits include:
- Relief from built-up tension in your back and neck;
- Reducing and preventing back-pain;
- Improved breathing;
- Changes in hormone levels to reduce stress, feelings of fear, and anxiety;
- Feeling more alert, focused and productive;
- Feeling confident.
(Sources: http://www.livestrong.com/article/437366-health-problems-from-bad-posture/; http://bit.ly/1HJKkWR, Nair, S., Sagar, M., Sollers, J., III, Consedine, N., & Broadbent, E. et al. 2014)
So, here’s challenge number two: hold this posture for the next hour.
It may sound easy, but for the majority of us, this will unfortunately prove to be quite the challenge without great mental discipline. In fact, our internal data study with 15,000 Lumo Lift users revealed that during the workday, people on average spend only 36% of their time in “good posture”. That amounts to 38 minutes of poor posture per hour! This is not ideal at all considering the wealth of benefits people are missing out on by hunching over instead of straightening up.
Slouching is Killing Your Productivity
In addition to the benefits of good posture, experts have also identified the adverse effects poor posture that makes the above findings of the study even more troubling.
Studies have shown that poor posture leads to:
Increased back-pain, neck-pain, and spinal stress;
- Reduced lung capacity, leading to shortness in breath;
- Headaches and migraines;
- Heart and cardiovascular diseases;
- Joint and muscle injury, such as knee-pain;
- Increased levels in stress, fear, and depression
(Sources: Maria et al. 2006, Burdorf et al. 1993, Nowotny et al. 2011, Keyserlinga et al. 1988, Tissot et al. 2009, Wong 2009. ; http://www.yorback.com/how-bad-posture-affect-you-and-ways-to-fix-it/; http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/25/health/25consumer.html?_r=0)
Moreover, the adverse effects of poor posture extends all the way up from an individual level to an organizational level as well. Back-pain, the most prevalent posture-related ailment, is a leading cause of missed workdays, doctors visits, and disability claims — affecting over 70% of the US population. As employees spend an increasing amount of time at their desks hunching in front of computers and phones, companies are experiencing an increase in healthcare and other “hidden” costs, such as absenteeism and presenteeism (when an employee is physically present in the office but fails to contribute his or her expected workload), through lost productivity.
Studies have shown that the combined costs of absenteeism, presenteeism, health care plan, workers compensation, and disability claims can total from about $10,000 per employee to as much as $35,000 per employee. With so many posture-related problems potentially contributing to these costs, companies, as well as individuals, could benefit greatly from investing even a small percentage of time and energy into better wellness programs that encourage better ergonomics and posture at work.
Simply put: slouching is bad news for all of us.
By now, you’re well versed in the importance of good posture both in and out of the office. But, as discussed earlier, many of us have trouble maintaining this awareness and positive posture throughout the workday — let alone the entire day. There are a multitude of stretches, exercises, and ergonomic products out there that aid in promoting better posture, but none solve for this awareness that is crucial to our posture success.
To combat this, we’ve created Lumo Lift, the first ever wearable device that clips onto your shirt through a discreet yet stylish magnet and gently vibrates when you slouch to remind you to sit straight and stand tall. Already adopted and loved by millions of users, the Lumo Lift is one of the only digital solutions out there that solves for the awareness factor that allows people to successfully improve their posture through gentle reminders and small, daily habit changes.
Be the office hero: Lumo Lifts for your employees
Lumo Lift is a small lightweight wearable that tracks and coaches you on your posture, as well as tracks daily activity, such as steps taken, distance traveled and calories burned. Compatible with iOS/iPhone and select Android devices, and integrates seamlessly into any existing or new wellness programs. Custom solutions available.
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