Sitting at a desk all day and typing a way on a computer is hard, physical work. And here you thought you had a cushy gig in a plush, climate controlled environment. The reality is, we are not designed to sit for hours upon end. In order to mitigate some of the physical ailments associated with extensive desk work hours, we have come up with a few pointers. We highly recommend you heed the following advice.
Create an ergonomically correct work station
It is important to have a desk setup that enables you to sit properly for long durations with minimal discomfort. Having and adjustable chair is imperative, but there is more to it than that. But since we’re talking about the chair, let’s start with sitting properly.
You might be shocked by the following statement, but it is a fact: sitting is a physical activity. In the morning, when you are just getting started with the day, you are most likely to sit up straight, have your feet firmly planted on the ground, and your computer keyboard will be positioned properly under your finger tips. Heck, your morning posture might even make your old etiquette coach proud!
But as the day drags on, you might start to slouch over, fidget around, push your keyboard further away, shuffle your feet, and so on. This is when you need to make corrections. To start, you have an adjustable chair, so adjust it! Maybe lower the seat and slide closer to the desk. The important thing is to resume good posture to reduce the potential for back pain/injury.
Once you get your seating pose corrected, make the other necessary adjustments with other equipment. Make sure keyboard is placed directly under your hands when your elbow is bent at 90 degrees. If your elbow is bent too much so your hands have to reach upwards, or it’s not bent enough so you are constantly stretching outward to reach the keys, you are putting too much strain on your hands, arms, and back. If you do not already have one, it might be a great idea to invest in a wireless keyboard.
Other things to consider investing in to make your work space more comfortable:
Footrest or footstool. If it is difficult to sit with your feet firmly planted on the ground, a footrest will solve the problem.
Larger monitor. If you have a difficult time seeing your computer screen, you might consider getting a larger monitor. You should never have to lean forward/sit uncomfortably for long durations just to see what’s on your screen. Another option: add another monitor to your computer setup.
Lumbar support. You can get a chair with built-in lumbar support or purchase a mesh support device that attaches to your existing office chair. This will greatly alleviate lower back pain, stabilize the back, and promote better posture.
Walk around the block
We’ve already said it, but we will say it again: our bodies are not designed to sit all day long. You need to get up and stretch it out a bit. Ideally, more than once a day. Maintaining good physical health should be a priority. After you’ve been seated and working for a few hours, stand up and go for a walk. Five to ten minutes is all it takes to get rejuvenated. Added bonus: it will also give you a mental break from your work, which might help you refocus and increase productivity when you return to your desk.
Get chiropractic assistance
Proper alignment plays a significant role in maintaining good posture. In order to sit up straight, you need to activate particular muscle patterns. If you do not have proper posture/seating habits, you will need to correct your habits. In order to achieve the proper muscle activation patterns, it is essential to have proper joint functionality throughout your spine. Without good joint function, your nervous system could spasm or be too weak to support your back properly.
When you receive a chiropractic spinal adjustment, functionality will improve throughout your spine, and there will be less tension on your nervous system. The end result is you will be able to sit properly for longer periods of time without muscle fatigue.
Who knew sitting could be so difficult and painful? A lot of us laugh at the idea, but it really is important to break up the monotony of a sedentary work day in order to promote healthier, injury-free living. The good news is, with a few minor adjustments— to both our daily routines and chiropractic— it really is not that difficult to avoid sitting-related fatigue and injury.