For years many of us always wished to be working from a desk or a office instead of in manual labor or retail. Each day that we learn about new health conditions associated with prolonged sitting. In the words of the great spine researcher, Dr Stuart McGill, “If you want to have back pain, then sit”.
It has never been more important to find the best sitting posture at the computer.
An article published in JAMA found that 1 – 4 Americans sit more than eight hours every day (1).
Whether you work back in an office or still work from home that’s a lot of sitting. So let’s apply some simple desk space techniques to reduce chronic fatigue and enhance productivity through your work week.
Here are six techniques you can use to improve that sitting posture.
- Sitting posture tip one: keep your elbows at 90 degrees.
If your hands are on the keyboard and your elbows are below the table then your desk is too high.
The 90 degree angle in the elbows will prevent hunching from your arms getting too heavy on your shoulders and neck.
If you notice more wrist pain at the end of the day you may be suffering from some form of carpal tunnel syndrome and the first order of business is to check your desk height.
2. Sitting posture tip two: keep your hips and knees at 90 degrees.
If the chair is too low it’ll likely force your hips into a tucked under position allowing you to easily slouch.
3. Sitting posture tip three: keep your feet flat on the floor.
People often demonstrate they cross the legs when they’re sitting or put their feet up on some part of the desk in front of them. You’re not alone and understanding that it feels comfortable from those long durations of sitting.
Overtime this can lead to some lower back and even hit pain for most people. Placing your feet flat on the floor helps give a strong base and take some of the stress off the lower back.
The majority of people I see at my office have chairs to sit too high causing their heels to have her just off the floor when sitting.
4. Sitting Posture Tip 4: Sit Back in Your Chair.This is no problem for the tall readers out there, but for short people like me, you may find this more difficult.
The chair seat should extend from the area just behind the knee (with approximately 1-2 inches of play) and support your entire hamstring region extending to the buttock.
The seat of the chair should transition seamlessly to the seat’s backrest to support your lumbar spine.
If the seat region is too large or too small, you will experience chronic fatigue and undue stress over time.
5. Sitting posture tip five: use lumbar support.
Many office chairs have adjustable lumbar support if it does great use it however if you are missing sport it’s important we address this.
the chair is broken or does not have adjustable lumbar support you’re a few checks you can try. You can roll up a towel and place it in the small of your back as you sit in your chair this is an easy way to add some lumbar support while you were sitting.
6. Sitting posture tips six: stand regularly and move.
now that we’ve made some sprucing up of your sitting posture it doesn’t mean you can sit for eight hours straight. Like I said earlier sitting causes back pain due to its lack of need for our muscular stabilizers in our core. This was a lot of strain on the lumbar disc even with all the configurations are tips. To relieve this it’s important we work to stand every hour.
If we can stand and work it’s great to start transitioning 20 minutes each hour towards standing. Try that for a month and see how you start to feel. If improving then continue to add another 20 minutes, making 40 minutes of standing 20 minutes of sitting.
if you have a hard time remembering my understanding is that a timer on your phone or watch to track the time you sent. Also walk to a further bathroom if possible or get up until about water bottle throughout the day.
These are some great tips to help you set up with a little more efficiency and hopefully a little less pain.