Sitting for long periods of time at work can put a strain on the back and neck
Ever wonder why your coworkers and office mates' are always complaining about their backs? That’s because they are always seated!
Many people spend the majority of their workdays staying seated at their desks, where they remain motionless in a fixed, tense posture in front of their computers, which causes pain and discomfort after a period of time.
Healthy backs – societal developments
Sitting properly and ergonomic office furniture and equipment can help people with bad backs prevent back pain at the office.
Are you sitting properly? Tips for sitting at the office
In order to prevent back pain at work, the workplace must not only be furnished and equipped ergonomically, but you should also be sitting in the proper way at your desk. We’ve got some tips for sitting ergonomically at work so you can leave the office pain-free and ready to go.
Tips for setting up your desk and chair
- Adjust the height of your chair and your desk. The arms and legs should be at right angles to each other. If they are less than 90 degrees, you can develop circulatory problems.
- Sit actively and dynamically. Avoid a static sitting posture. This will improve the circulation to the musculature and the intervertebral discs. It will also reduce the risk of muscular tension.
- Use all the seat of your chair. At least 60 percent of the area should support your thighs. Don’t forget to use the adjustment options on your chair as well.
- Sit upright and use the backrest. Make sure you don't sit leaning forward. You should also avoid a rounded back.
- Use your chair's armrests. By resting your arms on the armrests, you take the tension off of your shoulders and prevent muscular tension.
What is dynamic sitting?
Dynamic sitting means changing your sitting position as often as possible, which can help reduce back pain and discomfort throughout your day.
Changing sitting positions constantly is a form of natural exercise for the back muscles. Regular movement also promotes the circulation to the muscles and increases the supply of nutrients to the intervertebral discs. That being said, you should use the time during breaks to relax your back.
For dynamic sitting, you should ideally alternate between three sitting positions: leaning forward, then upright and then finally leaning back again.
Tips for breaking sitting habits at work
- Adopt the 60 - 30 - 10 rule. Spend 60% of your time sitting, 30% standing and 10% moving around. You should also try to spend 15 minutes every hour standing.
- Stand or walk around. Walk around or stand while taking a phone call instead of sitting at your desk. Taking a walk during your lunch break can also help relieve the tensions of sitting at your desk.
Use an activity tracker. Invest in a FitBit or something to motivate yourself and monitor your activity during the day. Checking it regularly will prevent you from staying seated all day because you can typically set the wristband to remind you to move around at regular intervals.
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