You spend a lot of time in an office chair and using a seat that is ergonomically appropriate is critical for your long-term health and wellness. Body Fix Therapies wants to do more than help you with the pain caused by your daily grind — we want to prevent it! Sitting properly throughout the day assists you to accomplish this goal.
It Starts With the Seat
The seat should be positioned so that your feet touch the floor, yet your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. For tall people, this means having the seat set higher. For shorter workers, it means lowering the seat so your entire foot is flat on the ground. If you’re height means that feet touch the floor would prevent your access to the desk, consider a lower desk, if possible, or acquire a footrest that supports your feet and legs comfortably.
When seated your back should be evenly pressed against the back of your chair. If both sides of your lower and mid back are not touching the back of the chair, this results in uneven torso rotation. Now, try to slide your fist between the back of your knee and the front of the seat. If there’s no room between your fist and the front of the chair, your chair is too deep. You need to get a different chair or insert a support between the backrest and your back, so that you sit further forward. Simply getting a better chair is the wiser decision.
Set the Armrest Height
You armrests should keep your arms bent at a 90-degree angle while you use the keyboard. Stretching out your arms to reach the keyboard, or scrunching them inwards, will cause pain at some point. If your chair can’t get close enough to the desk because your armrests are too long, get a chair with shorter armrests. If your chair doesn’t have armrests, we recommend getting one that does. Adjustable armrests are best, unless your chair fits perfectly as is.
Check the Backrest
Your backrest should provide lumbar support. If not, you should add a pad to provide such support. This helps prevent slouching or slumping and reduces lower back pain. To get the benefit from the rest, feel your back against it throughout the day. While a 90-degree angle is recommended for your elbows and your knees, your back should be inclined slightly more than 90 degrees due to the shape of the seat and the incline of the backrest.
Applying these recommendations will go a long way towards limiting the injuries caused by sitting for eight hours or more at a desk. Adopting periodic chair exercises and getting up and about for an “office walk” periodically is critical. The particularly fit might consider adding an exercise ball to their chair options, as this works your balance and numerous muscles while sitting. Some prefer a standing desk for part of the day. And there are non-traditional chairs that may be recommended for specific types of muscular dysfunction. As always, you may consult your therapist at Body Fix Therapies in Sacramento for more help with office ergonomics.