Tips on How to Sit on Your Chair at the Office
Improving the Way You Sit is Key
Here you'll find some tips on how to survive all day at the office without damaging your back (and health). When we don't take care of ourselves we can seriously damage our backs to the point of ending up with some sort of disability. Even though not many people take this matter as serious as they should, you can end up with some sort of disability if you don't improve your sitting behind your desk, especially when you work 8 to 12 hours a day, trust me.
C-shape spine from improper posture
Beware of the C-Shape!
It has been scientifically proven that the best place to sit is literally the floor, and many yoga practitioners will tell you so.
Ok, so when you come into the office this is not something you can put into practice. And, unfortunately, what is usually the case is that people's backs curve into C-shaped spines and 'turtle-style' necks show up when lingering towards the monitor. Ouch.
Ideally, we should be looking at straight/neutral positioned trunks. Yes, I know, it is not easy to keep this position all day long. But changing sitting postures can actually help you keep your trunk nice and straight for longer. Here are a few tips that will help:
- Sit crossed-legged to stabilise your pelvis
- When you sit, spread apart your legs (the actual feet can be together or apart). This creates stability in the pelvic area.
Although these two positions are not elegant or glamorous by any means, especially when you're in a public area, please do remember that changing positions will MASSIVELY improve the health of your spine.
How to Choose the Best Office Chair
Have you ever tried Googling what is the best office chair? You'll see all the fancy, costly chairs. Some cost hundreds, even thousands of pounds! You'll also find that almost all of them will have arm rests and thick cushions. The thing is that it will be very hard to maintain a good position in any of those chairs.
Sitting in one of those comfy and soft chairs will put all the weight on the back of your legs, which were not made for that purpose. Also, when trying to type, your spine will curve into a C-shape, your unfortunate 'turtle-neck' will show up and your arms will not fall into a natural position once they start typing on the keyboard.
Hard surface chairs will be a good choice for you because you'll be forced to move about as you sit on them if that makes sense. Yes, sure, it will be hard to go from a super comfortable chair to a wooden or metal chair with absolutely no padding, but, if this is a problem, you can actually go through your transition a little slower. Start by sitting on a slightly padded chair and go all the way to a chair with no padding. The seating area should have a square shape as this will make it easier to sit on the edge of the chair. You won't slide.
Seat height - the best way to measure this is to sit back and see if your heels are firmly placed on the floor. If so, that's the right height.
Backrest - it should be similar to the seating area: hard. There's nothing wrong with leaning back on a nice and soft chair if you want to relax after a meeting, but you shouldn't work from this position as it is very harmful and against your own very nature. When you lean back and you try to reach your keyboard and mouse, your spine will curve into a C-shape again and this will prompt your 'turtle-neck' to show up.
Just look around and watch people at the office sitting like this!
Hard Surfaces Will Encourage You to Change Positions Frequently
Start by sitting on the edge of your chair. This will automatically create a 'stiff trunk'. So, as you can see, the best seat for you is a stool. The hard surface will encourage you to change positions frequently and keep your trunk as neutral as possible. Remember: if your body is stiff and hurting it is sending you a message. Move ASAP! Change your seating position as often as you can.
Listen to Your Body
Listen to your body. Your body has been created to move. Sitting down for hours and hours is against your nature. Stand up every 20 minutes and move about. At least rotate your neck and shoulders, do a standing glute squeeze at least a couple of times, walk for 2 or 3 minutes on your tiptoes.
Believe me, this will have a huge impact and would probably have a more positive effect than going to the gym after work!
We all take our bodies for granted and start looking after them only when we feel they starting to fall apart. Don't wait for this. Look after your body, it is a vital component of a happy life!
Guest Post Article by Justina Triasovaite
Justina Triasovaite is a certified female personal trainer in London and also runs justinatraining.com, a site with very useful information for those who are interested in general fitness and body transformation. A committed health and fitness fanatic, Justina is extremely passionate about helping other people transform their lives.
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