For many of us these days our working life involves sitting at a desk, hammering away at the keyboard. At the end of the day, we get up, stretch and creak a little, then head home.
Most of us are aware of such problems as RSI and eye-strain, and some of us even consider the ergonomics of our environment. But just how much attention do we pay to our posture throughout the working day and the effect it can have on our health?
We are naturally bipeds, built for standing up, rather than stooping over a desk. Even as I write this I find myself sitting upright a little more than usual, and can feel the tension in the back of my neck and shoulders. But just how much is there we can do about this daily routine of bad habits?
Ia’m sure wev’e all heard the bit about taking a break now and then, but how often do we actually do it? More importantly, how often should we do it? According to some prominent Doctors and Chiropractors we should not remain sitting for more than 20 to 30 minutes, taking a 30-60 second break while standing. Ok, I can hear the roars of laughter now. Can you just imagine a busy office with people bobbing up and down every 20 minutes or so? Perhaps in a Monty Python sketch.
There are still things we can do though that do not intrude quite so much on the office ambience. Simple little things such as straightening your back and lifting your head up a little for a few seconds can make a difference. All the time your head is tilted forward looking at your keyboard or monitor, you are increasing the pressure on the lumbar discs in your neck. Slouching, or rounding the back can increase the pressure on your discs by up to 100 percent.
Apart from the obvious ergonomics of your immediate environment, i.e. placement of your desk, keyboard and monitor, the most important influence on your posture and health is your chair. Office chairs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Just as well, the people that sit on them do too. But how often do the two match? We don’t all get the luxury of picking our own furniture, but if you do get the opportunity, or you are picking one out for your home, give it careful consideration.
A lot of research and effort goes into the design of a well built Ergonomic Chair, which makes them a little more expensive than the average high street swivel chair. However, considering the amount of time we spend in them, and the high volume of lost work days related to repetitive strain injuries, it is a small price to pay. This is not about saving money, this is about saving yourself. Unless of course you are an employer, looking to cut down on the amount of sick leave your employees are taking!
It is also well worth investing the time to get expert advice on the right type of chair for your build and your needs. This is where specialist companies like High and Mighty Seating can help. They supply a wide range of chairs for all sizes and uses, as well as providing expert advice and specialist assessments. In their own words “Ergo-nom-ics it isn’t a fad it’s a science”.