By Jacqueline Rubinstein
Sitting at a desk is tough work. Sitting is actually more demanding on your body by up to 50% more than standing. As you all well know, sitting for long hours often leads to stiffness and pain.
So what can be done? One thing I have figured out is it is incredibly important to have a good work station. When I worked at a desk that was too tall for me, after just a few months, I ended up with a very painful pinched nerve in my neck.
If you are working at a computer, it is helpful to have the monitor just below your eye-level, so your head can rest comfortably on the top of your skeleton, reducing the work of your neck muscles.
And your keyboard is best positioned if you bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle and then let you lower arms drop a little bit to land on the keyboard.
Using a laptop? I have devised a system for myself where I place my computer on an appropriately sized cardboard box (or stack of big books) and use an external keyboard and mouse. I cannot tell you how much this has relived my pain and improved my life. I don’t dread sitting at my desk anymore. (Unless I am behind on e-mail =)
And for the chair… The tips I have from personal experience and the experiences of my clients are:
~ Put something behind your lower back –a cushion, a small rolled up blanket, even a balled up sweatshirt will work.
~ Your feet need to be able to rest firmly on the ground to give you support and a sturdy foundation.
~Your knees should be slightly lower than your hip joints, so your thighs are making a gentle slope downwards.
~Sit on your sits bones (they got their name for a reason).
~And don’t sit still! The most comfortable way to sit is to move around and be dynamic in your sitting. Holding one, still position requires a lot more energy than moving does! So find ways to change up your sitting throughout the day.
~You could even try sitting on an exercise ball!
Want to learn more about dynamic posture and sitting? Check out this recent article from the Huffington Post.
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