Easing the Stress on Your Back
One of the major causes of back pain is sitting in office chairs for prolonged periods of time. The lack of movement while sitting can cause increased stress in the back, neck, arms, and legs. It also adds pressure to the back muscles and spinal discs. This is made worse with a slouching posture while sitting. Over time, spinal structures can be damaged, leading to recurring back pain.
To help prevent these problems, care should be taken to sit properly while at work. How do you know if you are sitting in the correct position? Do a quick evaluation of your sitting and working areas using these guidelines.
Sit in front of your desk with your upper arms parallel to your spine. Rest your hands on your work surface. Your elbows should be at a 90 degree angle. If they are not, you need to move your chair either up or down. Armrests should be set so that they just slightly lift your arms at the shoulders.
Thighs and Calves
To determine if your feet are in the proper position, try to slide your fingers under your thigh at the leading edge of your chair. If the space is too tight, you may need to prop your feet up with an adjustable footrest. If you have too much space, you may need to raise your chair. But if that interferes with the proper elbow angle you’ve already set, you may also need to adjust the height of your desk or work surface. To determine if your chair is the proper depth, sit all the way back in your chair. Try to pass your fist between the back of your calf and the front of your chair. If you can’t, then your chair is too deep. You can insert a lumbar support at the small of your back for more support.
To test for the proper placement of your screen, sit in front of your computer and close your eyes with your head facing forward. Slowly open your eyes. Your gaze should be at the center of your computer screen. If it is not, your screen should be lowered or raised to correct this.
Finally, remember to get up and stand, stretch, and walk often, at least a minute or two every half hour. Static posture in a chair is not good for your back. Moving around during the day will help keep your muscles, ligaments, joints, and tendons loose, making you more comfortable and helping to keep your back healthy.
At Presbyterian Apartments I & II in Northport, Alabama, we believe it’s important to live life vigorously. In order to do so, you must educate yourself regularly with lifestyle-enhancing tips such as these. With this blog post, we seek to improve your way of life through education that promotes self-care.