Not every one of us gets to have a job that requires moving around a lot. Some simply prefer working from a desk. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that sitting for long hours, with bad posture, can have serious health ramifications down the line.
Maintaining good posture as you work throughout the day simply requires clever use of basic ergonomics. A healthy posture not only helps you work more comfortably, but may also boost your energy and productivity – many chiropractic treatments in practice today will vouch for that. When we’re talking ergonomics, it makes perfect sense to incorporate these tips:
The height of your chair should be set in a way so that your feet are comfortably positioned flat on the floor. This aligns your knees and torso and keeps them at the same height, thereby relieving unnecessary stress around the shoulders and lower back region. While sitting, your elbows should ideally be bent between 90 and 110 degrees; note that the elbows should not be stiff or flare out, but instead hang comfortably by your sides. Keep your forearms parallel to the ground so that your wrists rest neutrally on the keyboard.
Your office chair should ideally support the underside of your thighs at the edge. Basic ergonomic sense goes a long way in protecting your joints and tendons.
As you type, placing the wrists that exert a sharp upward or downward force is naturally going to cause unwanted stress. Whenever you can, go with a split-design or a “tented and raised” keyboard design. If one isn’t available, simply use a spacious one. Small cramped keyboards tend to place undue stress on the wrists and hands. You could get a wrist rest. However, these things tend to elevate the wrists a little more than desired in some cases and generally go against basic ergonomics. Be selective about using one.
Throw in a Little Variation
Irrespective of how proper your work posture is, sitting in one position for hours is not healthy at all. Adjustable chairs have an advantage since they allow you to sit in different positions. Alternating between certain positions will help keep your posture neutral and relaxed.
As an example, for the first few hours, you could sit upright by keeping your torso as vertical as possible, your thighs and lower legs in a 90 degree angle against the chair. Subsequently, for the next few hours you could sit reclined; tilt the backrest so as to get your torso to recline between 105 and 120 degrees from the thighs.
Finally, for the last few hours, tilt the seat pan in a way to get the angle between your thighs and torso to just over 90 degrees. Don’t go overboard though; you don’t want to slide off the chair.
One of the first things you’ll probably come across at a lot of chiropractic clinics is the importance of good posture. Take care of yourself and apply a little ergonomic sense!