Are you sitting comfortably?
Are you slumped over your laptop reading this? Or hunched over your mobile phone? Perhaps you are at the end of a long day and are leaning back in your seat because your lower back has started to ache. Sitting at a computer all day can take its toll on the body which can lead to back pain, neck pain, knee pains and sometimes a tingling of the hands and fingers. With prolonged bad sitting habits, this could easily turn into Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In this blog post I will have a look at how you can maintain good posture and be comfortable at your desk all day.
How to sit
As I am writing this I am consciously aware that my posture needs adjusting. Yes we all know how to sit, as we know how to breathe, but when taught how to do it correctly it can be so much more beneficial to our health. When sitting in your chair make sure that your back is properly supported by pushing your hips as far back into the chair as possible. You may find it more comfortable to use a pillow or cushion behind your back. Your feet should be flat on the floor and your knees either level with your hips or slightly lower – it might be necessary to have a foot rest under your desk. Place objects you use frequently close to you to avoid repeatedly stretching or twisting to reach things.
Adjust your chair
A correctly adjusted chair will reduce the strain on your lower back, many chairs are now available so that you can easily adjust the height, back position and tilt. Adjust the arm rests so that your shoulders are relaxed, you may prefer to remove them altogether. Your wrists and forearms should be level with the desk and bent so that they form an L-shape at the elbow.
Try to sit close to the keyboard so that it is directly in front of your body. Try tilting the keyboard to maintain a straight wrist position, if you are sitting in a slightly reclined position then tilt the keyboard forward. It is important to keep your mouse close to you and you may prefer to use wrist rests on the mouse pad.
Adjust your monitor so that the top is about 2 inches above your eye level and that your neck is a neutral and relaxed position to avoid strain and injury. You may have to use a monitor stand to achieve this. The monitor should be about an arms distance away and directly in front of you.
If you use the phone frequently during the day it may be a good idea to use a headset. Constantly cradling the telephone between your shoulder and your ear can strain the muscles in your neck.
It is important to take small breaks, move around and change position regularly to avoid repetitive strain injury. You could also try using
self massage techniques which I talked about in this blog two weeks ago. Studies have shown that sitting down for long periods of time can actually be damaging for your health. If you do find that you are suffering with pain from sitting at your computer all day, a deep tissue massage can be very beneficial. Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on reaching the deeper layers of muscles and tissue and is designed to release those deep, painful muscle knots and restore muscle elasticity. It can also help to relieve many day to day problems like bad back, sprains, tension, postural issues, fatigue, lower back tightness, and repetitive strain injuries.
Monday, 5 November 2012