bringing balance to our lives from the outside to the inner self...
Vocational ministry often involves sedentary practices. We sit with family in a hospital waiting room. We visit a parishioner and sit to listen with care and grace. We sit at a desk to craft a worship service, write a sermon, study, pray, and administrate the life of the church. We share a meal at table with church members around the noon hour or at a church function, and sit to eat the meal.
In such a life with not so much movement, we often disregard the importance of how the physical nature of our bodies during such inactivity can impact our health. Focus is often on the utterly important practice of also incorporating enough aerobic activity to counter-balance our inactivity. But we should also pay attention to how our body is held during the quieter times of life and ministry. The importance of good posture in the sedentary moments of life and work can empower our effectiveness and endurance.
Here are a few ideas to get you moving in the right direction or sitting, as the case may be, with a transforming posture.
you can best serve others by taking care of yourself,
so make your health a priority.
(Please know that all kinds of stress can take a serious toll on your health.
Please do not substitute the information in this article for professional medical advice.)
Much of this information comes from Safety Daily Advisor, a workplace safety resource for businesses.
Their Website is: /
• Adjust your work surface to an ergonomically correct height for your body.
• Use anti-fatigue mats and footrests to help reduce back strain if you stand or sit for long periods of time.
• Adjust your chairs so your back touches the chair back and your feet rest on the floor or on a footrest.
• Place your computer monitor directly in front of you at arm's length and facing you. You should not have to turn your neck to look at the monitor. You should place the monitor so that your eyes are aligned with a point 2 to 3 inches below the top of the screen.
• Place your keyboard so you can place your hands and wrists in the neutral position with elbows close to their bodies, wrists flat and in line with your forearms, and wrists not angled up or turned in or out. You should not rest your wrists on a wrist rest when typing.
Good posture is an essential part of healthy work habits. Train your body to achieve and maintain a neutral position throughout the day in order to avoid musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Neutral posture is --
• Head straight and facing forward. Extended periods of tilting, turning, or bowing your head put strain on your neck.
• Straight back posture. Extended periods of twisting to the side or bending forward put strain on the back.
• Arms hanging comfortably to your side. Keep shoulders un-hunched, elbows close to your side, and forearms parallel to the ground. Working with your arms over your head, extended forward, or out to the side puts strain on your shoulders and elbows.
• Wrists in a straight line with your forearms. Hands flexed up or down, bent to the side, or twisted for extended periods puts strain on your wrists.
• Standing with your feet a shoulder width apart and your weight balanced.
• Not squatting or kneeling for extended periods—these positions put strain on your knees.
• Sitting with thighs parallel to the floor, knees bent about 90 degrees, and feet resting flat on the floor.
• Monitor your breathing. Are you breathing short and shallow breaths, or deeply and slowing? Short, shallow and irregular breathing may be a sign of, and contributor to, physical stress. Remind yourself to take a break occasionally, sit back in your chair and practice some relaxed, slow and natural full-deep breathing.
Improve your work space to maintain a neutral posture: