Ergonomic Tips: Improve Your Office Chair Sitting Posture
Prolonged hours of sitting can cause chronic pain and various health issues. It is easy to hunch over your computer when you sit in your office chair, especially when you get too absorbed in your tasks. However, maintaining this unhealthy posture can greatly impact your spine's health and cause some tension pain, musculoskeletal disorders, poor blood circulation, and other long-term health implications.
If you are one of the many people who spend an average of 40 hours a week sitting in front of their computer desk and are suffering from back pain, read this quick guide.
Can Long Hours of Sitting Cause Back Pain?
Many office jobs require long hours of sitting without adequate movement. The sedentary lifestyle caused by this nature of work can impact your spine's health, especially if you sit with poor posture at work. Health experts have discovered a link between desk sitting and back pain over the years. Note that chronic pain is different from the usual soreness that you feel after sitting. Slouching, neck-straining office setups, inadequate lumbar support, and a lack of movements can restrict your blood flow and damage your spine, thus, causing chronic pain. The good news is that you can do something to avoid these health issues and maintain a healthy posture in your workplace.
What Are the Benefits of a Good Sitting Posture?
Our bodies rely on our postural muscles to maintain a healthy and balanced position when we sit in our office chairs. These muscles prevent us from straining our body by leaning forward or slouching. Here are some more reasons to maintain a proper posture.
- A good sitting posture supports your muscle health.
- Proper body alignment when sitting in your office chair can help you remain focused and energised.
- Proper body posture protects your spine from tension and stress.
- Sitting straight can improve your breathing.
- A healthy sitting posture prevents muscle fatigue.
- Proper posture can improve your work appearance and self-esteem.
Office Chair Sitting Posture Tips
Here are some ways to keep a proper posture when sitting at your computer desk:
1. Find Your Neutral Sitting Position
When sitting in your office chair, make sure that your pelvis is in a neutral position, not hunched or too arched forward. To do this, sit comfortably on your office chair with your lower back positioned against the backrest, maintaining a healthy lower back curve. Many ergonomic chairs do a good job of contouring the neutral shape of your lower spine to prevent muscle strains.
2. Make Sure that Your Feet are Flat to the Floor
When sitting on your office chair, make sure that its height will allow your feet to reach the floor while your knees are positioned at a 90-degree angle. If your chair is too high, it can position your hips too much higher than your knees, which can cause tension. A chair that is too low, on the other hand, places your knees too much higher than your hips, which also causes the same stress.
It is helpful to choose an ergonomic office chair with an adjustable height so you can customise the chair's height based on your personal requirements.
3. Maintain the Alignment of Your Shoulders and Hips
One way to guarantee that you are sitting in a neutral position is to make sure that your ears, shoulders, and hips are aligned.
4. Position Your Arms Parallel to the Floor
Your arms need some support too! Whether your office chair has some armrests or not, it’s always good to keep your arms well positioned to prevent strains. If your office chair does not have armrests, you can rest your arms on your desk, given that it is within a comfortable range. Make sure that your computer is at arm’s length to prevent your head from protruding forward or slouching.
5. Position Your Monitor at Eye Level
The height and placement of your computer desk also make a huge difference in maintaining a comfortable workspace. Choose a computer table for your office or remote workspace that is tall enough to place your monitor at least 13 inches above your eye level.
To guarantee your comfort, sit at least 20 inches from your computer screen. This will prevent neck and shoulder stains.
Other Tips to Guarantee Your Workstation’s Safety
1. Do Some Posture Exercises
A sedentary lifestyle in general can cause multiple health implications. Every thirty minutes, move around your workspace to increase blood flow, prevent muscle tightness, and energise your body. Taking a break and stretching can help your body relax and regain focus. It’s also a good idea to do some posture exercises at home to help your body relax after long hours of sitting.
2. Improve Your Office Setup
Invest in some office furniture upgrades to give you the best posture support while at work. If you are working with a standard chair that lacks lumbar support, start shifting to an ergonomic office chair with adjustable features so you can personalise your seat based on your physical needs and desired office setup. If you are keen to let go of a sedentary lifestyle, change your standard office table to a standing table that will allow you to stand intermittently during your work hours. If your computer desk is too low to keep your monitor at eye level, use an adjustable laptop stand to increase its height.
3. Make Yourself Comfortable
Maintain a relaxed posture throughout your work hours. You don’t have to restrict your movements when focusing on your work. The key is to help your muscles relax by following a proper and natural sitting posture.
Sitting at your desk all day can significantly impact your health. Protect your body and well-being by using office furniture that supports your specific needs and following the right workspace setup to boost your productivity. These simple changes in your furniture and lifestyle offer drastic benefits in the long run. Remember that your health matters, especially in this busy and fast-paced age.
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