How you sit
Sitting down is slowly killing us all! Sitting down for long periods of time every day is proven to greatly increase health risks. Working in an office job, chances are you don’t have much choice but to sit down for long periods of time. Even though sitting down for long periods isn’t good for you, there are methods on how to ‘sit correctly’ to reduce any health risks as much as possible. You may be familiar with some of the methods to sit correctly including:
- Don’t slouch in your seat
- Keep your monitor / screen at eye level to avoid looking down
- Keep your arms supported
- Keep your feet flat on the floor
- Ensure shoulders are relaxed
Many people consider the correct way to sit is sitting at the back of the chair keeping your back straight at a 90 degree angle keeping the spine in a neutral position that will reduce the stress on the spine.
Some researchers are suggesting that sitting at 90 degrees may not be beneficial for your back and can potentially cause damage to your back in the future. According to this research, the best method of sitting down is to sit back at an angle of 135 degrees. Sitting as far back as this and keeping the neutral spine position is proven to further reduce stress on the lower back compared to sitting at 90 degrees. Sitting back this far is very beneficial in theory, but when put into practice you may find yourself too far back and slipping off the seat so an angle of 120 degree seems the most reasonable to sit back on.
Sitting back at an angle seems very beneficial it’s not without its flaws. Sitting back like this can cause a lot more strain on your neck and upper back. By leaning back further, you’re going to be putting a lot more strain on your upper back and neck to keep your view horizontal to look at your monitor or screen. Sitting further back will make it harder to keep your spine in its neutral position without having additional support for the lower back being part of the chair. Another difficulty is how to measure what angle you’re sitting at. Sitting at 90 degrees is quite simple to work out, but measuring sitting back as a specific angle is a bit awkward.
The truth is that there is no perfect way to sit and long hours of sitting on a daily basis can very likely result in pain in the future. Experts say the most important thing is to have variety in your daily ritual. This can mean sitting straight for 40 minutes, sitting back for the next 40 and even stand up to work for a while if possible.
It’s also extremely important to take breaks from sitting. Our bodies were not designed to sit down for long periods of time which is the reason that sitting down can be bad for us. Taking a break once an hour for a quick walk, stretch or anything that will help get you moving. This will help the blood circulate around your body and changes the focus on what points of your body is taking the stress of your weight.
Sitting on the right chair
Regardless of how you sit, what you sit on is going to have a big effect on your comfort and any potential harm you may be avoiding. Working and sitting down for 8 hours a day really does require the best possible chair. Every office chair should include:
- Adjustable Height
- Padded seat
- Lower Spine Support
- Support for arms
- A base that rolls on 5 wheels
If your chair has all of these features ensure that it is adjusted to help you sit correctly and comfortably. Following this will greatly reduce the risk of having pain from sitting down and problems in the future.
There are chairs that are considered ergonomic and can include neck support, ability to recline, more padding and more. Ergonomic chairs will cost more than standard chairs, but many people consider the benefits from these chairs worth the cost. Here are Morgan & Morgan we supply all ranges of chairs to suit all needs.