July 31, 2018
Whether you like it, hate it, or merely accept it as a consequence of the modern world, most of us spend our days sitting far more than being active. You may try to combat it with a standing desk, or perhaps you take frequent laps around the office. Unfortunately, the truth is that most people are still seated far more than is recommended each day. This sitting lifestyle can lead to a host of issues — most notably, as far as a chiropractor is concerned, shoulder, neck, and back pain.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to maintain better posture throughout the day and reduce the experience of these chronic symptoms of sitting at a computer screen for hours and hours on end. Keep reading to learn how to sit with your back in mind!
#1: Monitor Your Monitor Height
Your monitor should be high enough that it is directly in line with your gaze — so you should be looking down to type all day. This can make using a laptop for extended periods of time a challenge. If you do not have a desktop computer, you may want to prop the laptop up at the proper height and use an external keyboard and mouse, instead. It’ll be worth the extra efforts to save your back!
#2: Keep Your Distance
Once you have your monitor at the correct height, it should be easy to lean back comfortably so that you are not scrunching your face too close to have to see it. Your head should be about a foot to a foot and a half away from the screen for ideal computer posture.
#3: Feet Flat
At attention! What are your feet doing right now? If you have your legs crossed or are putting more weight on one than the other, you’re out of proper alignment. Spending extended periods of time like this can result in chronic back pain or other muscular aches. Keeping your feet flat will help to keep the rest of your body in the proper posture.
#4: Sit on Your Hammies
Proper seated position means sitting with your pelvis tilted forward, sitting more on your hamstrings (the backs of your thighs) than your tailbone. It may take some getting used to, but maintaining this position will help to keep your body in line even if you have to be seated for most of the day. You can still rest against the back of your chair, just be sure to maintain your pelvis forward as you do so.
#5: Elbows at Your Sides
Wrist, finger, and elbow pain are also not uncommon for people who remain seated most of the day. Keeping the proper hand position can help to prevent or reduce these effects. Begin by resting your forearms straight and parallel to each other with your elbows right at your sides. Once you are in this position, move the keyboard to you rather than reaching your arms to meet your keyboard.
When to Talk to Your Employer
If you need some modifications to make any of these a possibility — like a box to keep your feet flat or an elevated surface for a laptop — do not hesitate to ask your employer. These are simple hacks for helping you both feel great and maintain your productivity at work. And that is worth so much!
About the Author
Dr. Chad Wills is a chiropractor offering therapeutic services for patients in and around Naples. If you are dealing with chronic back pain related to too much sitting, Dr. Wills can help. Do not hesitate to get in touch with him by calling his office by phone at 239-331-6060.
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