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Poor desk posture can lead to numerous office based injuries from back, shoulder and neck problems to headaches. Frequently people visit KHChiropractic Earlsfield and Liverpool Street / Aldgate, unaware that this could be linked to the way they sit, and they could be helping themselves by correcting their posture and/or workstation setup.
An expensive, ergonomically friendly office chair is of little benefit if it isn’t set up correctly. So here are a few tips for you to help yourself.
Move your chair up or down to maintain a 90 degree angle at the elbows.
It should be possible to slide your fingers under your thigh at the leading edge of the chair. If it is too easy you should raise your chair, if the gap is too small/tight you should rest your feet on a foot rest until you can slide your fingers underneath. Remember to ensure your elbows remain at 90 degrees.
Push your bottom backwards against the chair back. Take your clenched fist between the back of the calf and the front of your chair. If this isn’t easy the chair is too deep, therefore adjust the backrest forwards. You can either get a more suitable chair or use a lumbar support, rolled up towel or cushion.
4. Lumbar support
Your bottom should be pressed back against your chair. There should be a support that causes your lower back to arch slightly. This should prevent you slouching down and forwards in your chair as you fatigue.
5. Resting eye level
To prevent straining your neck you should position your screen level with your gaze.
Your armrest should be positioned so your arm rests directly on it. You should then elevate it slightly to take pressure off the neck and shoulders which also makes you less likely to slouch forward.
Avoid static postures while sitting in office chairs
The above set up will promote a better posture while sitting for long periods of the day. However it is still very important to get up and move regularly to reduce the chance of pain and dysfunction. Prolonged static postures are not good for your back and are a common contributor to back problems and muscle strain. Remember to stand, stretch and walk for at least 1-2minute every 30minutes as this promotes healthy blood flow that brings important nutrients to all the spinal structures.
According to the BBCs report ‘Is back, neck and muscle pain hurting the UK economy’ 13million work days were lost due to back, neck and muscle related problems in 2013. They also state that more work related injuries are currently occurring in offices in comparison to more physically demanding jobs which were traditionally significantly higher. This switch is due to improved health and safety legislation in the manual sector and less attention to postures in more sedentary jobs.