Top tips for sitting at your desk

Top tips for sitting at your desk

Modern day lifestyle has become more and more sedentary with the ever growing world of technology.  Prolonged sitting is now defined as the new smoking! We as human beings are designed to move. As caveman our days consisted of climbing trees, running from wild animals and gathering food….. we moved all the time!  When we sat, we squatted down or sat on the floor.  There was no such thing as chairs, screens, desktops or phones!

Prolonged sitting compresses the spinal joints and discs. Research has shown that after 30 minutes of sitting the muscles in our back/neck and legs become ischaemic i.e. They are lacking in blood flow. This leaves us more prone to building up tightness in our muscles which can eventually lead to pain.

How should I sit at my desk?

If you work with computers, you are probably doing it wrong!

The following check list should be used as a guide to sitting correctly at your work station.

Your eyes should be level with the top of your computer monitor. This is easier when a desktop is used.  When a laptop is used, raise the screen and use a wireless keyboard

Your shoulders should be relaxed and low, not high and hunched up.

Your lower arms should be parallel to the floor. They should rest on an arm support, rather than being held up.

With your arms bent at the elbow you should be able to reach your keyboard and mouse without straining.

Your upper legs should be at a 90° angle from your body

Your feet should be flat on the floor. This does not mean just having your toes on the floor! If you cannot reach the floor a foot stool should be provided

Your upper back should be straight. Your lower back has a natural curve that should be supported by your chair. your hips should be close to the back of chair

You should be sitting up straight and your screen should be a full arm’s length away from you.

You should not be leaning to one side. It can be tempting to rest on one arm, but this can cause your spine to curve.

We often hear “but the pain is in my arm, not my back!

Poor posture can affect almost every part of your body. It’s common to get pains in your neck, shoulder, elbow or wrist joints as a result of not sitting properly. Poor posture can lead to repetitive strain injury (RSI). Hunched shoulders can cause neck pain and even headaches.

How often should I move around?

It is recommended that you change position at least every 30 minutes.  Unfortunately, shifting and shuffling usually leads to a slumped and uncomfortable posture. Unless you’re working hard to maintain a good sitting position, it is likely you will start slouching.

Instead of trying to find multiple good positions to sit in, take the opportunity to have a quick walk every 30 minutes. Stand up and go to get a drink, take a toilet break or just walk up and down the corridor, then sit back in your ‘good posture’ position.

During your lunch break- aim to get a good brisk walk in.  Alternatively, team up with colleagues and organise lunch time Pilates or yoga classes.  You will find the more you move, the better you concentrate.

At Head 2 Toe Chiropractic we offer luchtime yoga and pilates classes. We can also offer advice on ergonomics and posture. For more information on our corporate classes or to find out how chiropractic and physiotherapy can help with your posture, contact us on 021-2011159 or info@head2toechiropractic.ie