Is Your Office Chair Damaging Your Spine?
We are a sedentary people. Sadly, many of us spend at least 5 days of 7 sitting in office chairs that aren’t doing our spines any favors. And we’re sitting in offices for 65% of those 5 days. In addition, we sit in transit, cars, at home and elsewhere most of the time.
But we’re here to talk about workplace sitting, so let’s talk about whether your office chair is damaging your spine.
It’s bad enough that we sit so much of the time. But we add to that effect by adopting less-than-ideal postures while we’re doing it. That’s especially true at work.
We crane our heads toward computer monitors, slouch, slump and lean. These habits can lead to pain in the neck and back, herniated discs, sciatica, poor blood circulation, pinched nerves and spine degeneration.
And when we work witting on chairs which don’t support our spines, we’re just making matters worse.
An Office Chair For You
An ergonomic chair is the answer.
This style of office chair adjustable (which makes sense, because people come in more than one size). This allows you to sit in the chair in a more posture-conscious way.
Your seat height can be adjusted to that your feet can be placed flat on the floor, with your thighs slightly below knee level. This posture prevents lower back strain and protects your hips from wear.
Make sure your chair accommodates your body in terms of both width and seat depth. An uncomfortable chair which isn’t the right size for your body causes discomfort and discourages proper posture.
Ensure that any chair you choose has adequate lumbar support which is also adjustable. The back of the chair should follow the natural curve of the spine. Also key to your is that the armrests are set low enough to support your forearms with relaxed shoulders.
Standing for long periods can present just as many challenges to your spine as sitting for long periods can.
That’s why the next generation of the standing workstation is the sit/stand workstation. This arrangement allows the user (as the name suggests) to work while either sitting or standing. The variation in positions provides the body with variety of muscle engagement, preventing you from forgetting about your posture.
The body was made for movement, so the sit/stand workstation is a compromise which addresses the body’s dynamism and supports the health of your spine.
Even if you have the benefit of the sit/stand alternative, it’s a best practice to walk around during the day. Even if you’re working to deadline, it’s crucial that you at least stretch your body and move around as much as you’re able.
Being aware of your posture, whether sitting or standing is a preventative measure that protects your spine, while strengthening key muscle groups. Your mother was absolutely right about the posture thing!
Spine Consult NJ
Spine Consult is dedicated to extended excellence to our patients. Treating all conditions of the spine, our mission is your wellbeing and quality of life. Contact us.