Are You Upright & Core Tight?

Posted: October, 22, 2021 | Categories: Workplace Tips & Professionalism


Have you been suffering from back pains and aches as a result of sitting in your desk chair all day? If so, then it might be time for you to work on improving your core. When most people think about improving their core, they imagine some kind of strenuous workout, but what if I told you that you can improve your core, posture, and focus as you sit at your desk for work? In the following, we’ll show you just how you can improve your core and your posture by being upright & core tight!



The Power of Your Core

The muscles on the front of your torso, also called your core muscles, directly impact your ability to maintain good posture. Having a strong core also allows your body to function properly long-term. It helps you stand straighter, stabilizes your body, minimizes back pain, and gives you proper balance, preventing injuries and falls. Maintaining a strong core is essential to keeping yourself mobile and healthy.


Upright posture – Good posture lessens wear and tear on the spine and allows you to breathe deeply, making it easier for oxygen to travel through your muscles so they can contract and helps you keep your body aligned.

Eliminates back pain – A body that is aligned and upright will make you less prone to back pain. Your core supports your entire body, especially your neck and back. If your core is not strengthened, then the rest of the structures in your back will have to work harder to support your body, leading to muscle strain and back and neck pain.

Improved balance and stability – When you improve your core, you are teaching the various muscles in your body to work together, leading to better balance and body stability. This makes you less susceptible to injuries, keeps your body aligned, and minimizes strain on any one muscle or joint.


The benefits of sitting upright & core tight are endless, but how exactly do you do that?



Upright: How to sit properly

In order to improve your core, you need to actively engage it while you sit. The first step to engaging your core is learning how to sit properly.

There is a science to the way we sit. If you’ve ever experienced shoulder or back pain or get a tingling feeling in your legs while you sit, that’s your body telling you that you are putting pressure on the wrong parts of your body.


Try following these steps to sit properly:

  1. Sit up straight – Sit up straight with your shoulders back, making sure that your lumbar spine is only slightly arched and that you are not relying on your chair for support.
  2. Check your shoulders – When you bring your shoulders back, make sure they are also down and relaxed – not shrugging. Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle when resting on your desk or typing to prevent a shrugged posture.  
  3. Look forward – Assure that your monitor is at eye level and you aren’t arching your head or back to see it properly. If you cannot adjust your chair, try adding a monitor stand or adjusting your monitor so that it meets your eye level.
  4. Watch your head – Try to keep the weight of your head directly above your neck and don’t crane your neck. If you can’t read what’s on your screen, use the zoom feature or move your monitor a little closer (making sure to keep it at least an arm’s length away).


For more tips on sitting properly and the benefits of proper office ergonomics, read our article on the topic here.



Core Tight: How to Engage Your Core

A common misconception is the thought that engaging your core means to suck in your stomach. In reality, you want to brace and tighten all of the muscles in your core, creating a strong cylinder of muscles from your ribs to your hips (which means you should push out, not suck in).

Keep in mind that when you’re pushing out and engaging your core, that doesn’t mean you should hold your breath. So while you are doing this, remember – keep breathing! Yes, breathing is the most important part of engaging your core. Every time you breathe, you have the opportunity to engage your core. 


Core strengthening exercises you can do while you sit

These exercises are only beneficial if you are sitting upright and keeping your core tight throughout the entire exercise, so stay engaged! And remember…breathe.


  • Sit on a stability ball – It’s oversized and bouncy, so you’ll have to continuously activate your abs and back to maintain a healthy posture. When you’re completing projects at your computer, rotate yourself in small circles while sitting up straight.
  • March in place – Maintaining an upright posture and a tight core while marching while seated in your chair is a great exercise to help strengthen your abdominals. Do this slowly and in control, focusing on not collapsing forward with your chest.
  • Hover your feet – Hold your feet up for an extended period of time using only your core muscles. This will build core strength and maybe burn a few extra calories.
  • Push and pull yourself on a chair with wheels – While you are sitting up straight, use your hips and your core to push and pull yourself on a chair with wheels.


By JWilliams Staffing

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