Many of us have to spend our days mostly sedentary or otherwise putting strain on our bodies. Whether in an office or working on your feet in a store, here are a few tips on staying healthy. Remember to share these tips with employees, franchisees, and coworkers as well. Healthy employees will be a lot happier, and happy employees only strengthen the appearance of your brand.
Why Does Posture Matter?
Good posture benefits the most basic structures in your body: muscles and bones. By keeping your bones and joints well-aligned, your muscles work well longer. This decreases your risk of arthritis, prevent ligament stress, and prevent your spine from settling abnormally. On a less severe scale, good posture helps you use your body’s energy efficiently, and prevents strain and muscle pain. Overall, you’ll also look and feel better if you sit and stand properly. That will make a long day of work much easier to bear, since it’s hard to stay positive if you’re in pain or uncomfortable.
In terms of business, keeping employees healthy will also keep your business healthy! Good posture and better health keeps your franchise running smoothly. Your employees will likely take fewer sick days. Plus, they will be more willing to be positive and helpful if they feel good. That’s the kind of customer service you want in your franchise! But it’s hard to encourage it if your team members don’t feel up to the task because their work makes them sore or uncomfortable.
If you don’t already, it’s time to encourage good posture practice in your business to keep everyone feeling better longer.
Keep your feet flat on the floor. This forms the base for a healthy sitting posture. Putting your feet flat on the floor also should make your knees bend at a right angle.
Avoid crossing your legs, at least for too long. Crossing your legs for a long period of time can affect circulation. At the very least, this can be uncomfortable if your legs fall asleep. If you’re cold, use a lap blanket or a space heater.
Back and Spine
One of the most important things you can do when sitting up all day is to sit straight. There are 3 regular back curves that should show if you’re sitting properly. Your back should curve out (toward the chair) around the shoulder blades, inwards towards your belly button, and back out at the base of your spine. Curving your back entirely toward the chair, while not harmful, can contribute to back problems and muscle strain in the long run.
Make sure that you evenly distribute your weight between both hips as you sit. This will reduce muscle strain and hip pain after hours of sitting.
Hands and Arms
Rest your arms and elbows on the arms of your chair or on your desk. This keeps your shoulders relaxed–a must for those who tend to suffer upper back pain. If you’re typing all day, keep your hands above the keyboard with your wrists in a neutral (straight) position.
Standing desks are more and more popular in today’s world to help avoid the effects of sitting for several hours. And team members within a franchise often have to be on their feet all day if they’re serving and preparing food, working in customer service, or helping customers in retail. All of these still require good posture even with these to avoid strain and other problems.
When standing for a long time, shift your weight over the balls of your feet with your knees slightly bent, not locked. Your feet should be at or near shoulder width. As when sitting, keep your back straight with your shoulders back. Don’t let your neck curve forward, as this will cause strain.
For those employees or franchisees who do any heavy lifting, be sure to teach and encourage proper lifting posture.
No matter whether you sit or stand, be sure to take breaks! Pause every so often to stretch, walk around, and take a break from your desk.
In your franchise, do what you can to encourage good posture. You can instruct franchisees and managers to train employees on good posture, make your business locations more ergonomic, and post reminders. And here, Divvy can help! Just create it (or talk to us about working with one of our designers), and we’ll help you spread your signage or training materials to every location without a hitch.