Sitting may seem like one of the easiest things in the world to do, but sitting incorrectly is bad for your health, especially if you spend the majority of your day doing it. Knowing how to maintain good posture, and counteracting the effects that sitting for long periods of time can have, is vital for your long term health and wellbeing.
Maintaining a good posture has many positive effects. Including:
- Increased awareness of your surroundings
- Reduces the chances of a headache
- Can reduces back pain
- Improves core strength
- Aids breathing
- Helps to reduce blood pressure
Are you sitting comfortably?
Your hips should be as far back in the chair as possible and feet flat on the ground. Adjusting your chair correctly to allow your knees to be positioned slightly lower than your hips is important. The back of the chair should be adjusted to approx 105 degree angle and both your upper and lower back should be supported. Adjust the position of the back support occasionally. Your shoulders should be in a relaxed position and your forearms supported while you type.
Don’t try and keep the spine dead straight, it has a natural curvature which should be reflected in your sitting position.
Take A Break
It is advised that when sitting for long periods of time you should take a break, and move around, every 30 minutes. Go for a walk around the office to stretch and exercise your legs, as well as stretching your back and arms. Use the stairs in your office by walking up and down them. As well as benefiting your back and neck, this will also give your eyes a rest from staring at the VDU.
Position your monitor/s correctly
Your monitor should be at least arms length and at eye level. This will avoid eye strain and neck/back pain as you’re not required to crane over to read the screen. Your screen and keyboard should both be central to your seating position, this will avoid the need for you to twist or sit unnaturally in order to view your monitor or use your keyboard.
Don’t impede circulation
Avoid crossing your legs while your sitting as this can impede blood circulation. As mentioned before your feet should be flat on the floor. Taking a break regularly will also help the blood flow. Even if your don’t realise it you may be more tensed than you need to be, make a conscious effort to relax, take a deep breath and exhale slowly.