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As freelance writers, we are lucky that we can work from anywhere. I personally like to work from the comfort of my home though occasionally I go to the coffee shop just to see the outside world. While we do enjoy this freedom, we still spend the better part of our day behind a computer desk and we are therefore not exempt from back pains and neck cramps.
Your working posture can have an effect on your productivity and health as well. A good sitting position is not necessarily a straight back and it certainly isn’t a slouch either. Somewhere in between the two lies a perfect sitting position that each and every one of us should acquire.
Sitting Up Straight Is Bad For Your Back
Contrary to popularly belief, sitting up straight is not the ideal posture and it can actually hurt your back. If anything, sitting up straight in the 90 degree angle that we have been taught to use for many years actually brings about more strain to your lower back than slouching. The position also puts unnecessary tension on your shoulders. This explains why I get constant back pains and fatigue. While slouching isn’t the answer either, you will be surprised to know that reclining backwards is actually the best position for your back. I have to admit that when I first read this, I found it a bit odd. However, I have tried it and though it takes some getting used to, it is actually not bad. According to scientists, reclining relives strain from your lower back and though it will not completely alleviate your back pain, it puts the least amount of pressure on your spinal disks as well as the linked tendons and muscles.
Are Standing Desks The Answer?
Standing desks are increasingly becoming popular with many arguing that they not only help your back but also could help you lose weight. Unfortunately, they aren’t too practical especially if you need to write for a couple of hours. If you thought sitting for long hours was bad for you, standing might be worse. For starters it can be more tiring and hence reduce your productivity. When it comes to your health, standing for long hours strains your circulatory system and could increase your risk of developing varicose veins and carotid atherosclerosis which degenerates your arteries.
The Best Way Forward
So what is the best way forward for all you writers out there? To begin with, you need to adjust your computer posture backward to about 135 degrees. This position is not only good for your back but also promotes better breathing. It is important to note that your chair also plays a major role in your comfort. Secondly, you may want to consider standing once every hour. As writers, it’s really easy to get overly engaged in what we are working on and at times I find myself seated the entire morning. This is obviously not healthy and we need to take breaks in between. Taking breaks actually gives you a chance to get out of your zone and may even bring about fresh ideas to incorporate into your article.
While reclining is going to take some getting used to on my part, scientists say that it is the best position so I am definitely going to try it out more often.