It’s true that, as the saying goes, we weren’t born yesterday. We think we know how to talk, walk, and sit down. However, so many of us do not sit in a chair properly. It might sound silly or seem pretty basic, but there are a number of ways that you can harm your body merely by how you sit. And as most people sit all day for their jobs, you could be placing a great deal of stress on the body due to the way you sit at your desk. In order to correct these bad patterns and postures, here are a few ways you should never sit in your office chair.
When most people sit down, they cross their legs or ankles. While this might be commonplace at your workplace, you will want to break this habit. You should sit at your office chair with your thighs parallel to the floor and your feet resting flat. If you cross your legs all day, you can develop knee problems. Crossing your legs also impairs blood flow to your legs, which can lead to pains and cramps. You also don’t want to sit at your desk with your legs dangling above the ground and crossed. This will lead to poor blood circulation.
Leaning away from the back of the chair
We all are guilty of bad posture from time to time. However, if you notice how you sit at the office, you might discover that your back is seldom resting against the backrest of the chair. If you lean away from the back of the chair to read computer screens, write, or talk on the phone, you are placing unnecessary stress on your back. Your back isn’t supported in this position, which can produce a great deal of pain. One way to kick the habit of leaning in your chair is to purchase a chair that is ergonomically designed so that it will promote good posture.
Legs stretched out parallel to the floor on a footrest
At your desk, you might pull up another chair to rest your legs and feet. However, your legs should never be resting parallel to the floor on a footrest. While it might sound comfortable and even look more comfortable, it can actually lead to a great deal of discomfort. This practice does not promote good circulation to the legs. Poor blood flow can only make you feel more tired on the job.
You might think that there is really no wrong way to sit down. You bend your legs and rest your upper body on a surface. However, you can contort your body into different positions that you fail to notice over time. It is merely the way you always sit down. Those positions could be hurting your body more than helping it. The effects of how you sit can be both physical and mental. In order to promote the best health possible as you sit at your job, remember to avoid sitting in these three positions.
Experiencing neck pain is unpleasant, to say the least, to have to endure especially if experiencing it for long periods of time throughout the day. Your neck is one of the most sensitive areas of the body, responsible for holding up the bottom of y
our skull and providing the brain with nutrients. Spending countless hours in front of a computer everyday is going to change your body and unfortunately there is not much you can do to avoid sitting for extended periods of time especially if it is part of your job description. Your front neck muscles are slowly growing shorter and tighter, while the muscles in the back of your neck are growing longer and weaker. Not to mention it must not be an easy task to hold up a ten pound head for hours at a time. From prior experience, I know what it feels like to have pain in your neck all throughout the day and how much harder it makes it to work under that kind of condition. But what I did not realize is that your office chair can actually be the reason why people experience neck pain.
The spine requires essential movement throughout the day, unfortunately for most workers that are confined to sitting in an office chair all day this seems to be nearly impossible. This is even more the case when workers are using standard office chairs and office furniture which leaves the body confined during the day, and puts high pressure loadings on the spine. Chairs that have stiff backs meaning that they do not have back and height adjustments, restrict the body and do not conform to your body which can lead to back pain as well.
It is estimated that each year, 11 million days of absence from work occur due to neck pain. This medical condition costs industries upwards of $5 billion per year. 800,000 hospital in-patients and 12 million consultations are needed for neck pain every year. In most of the cases, the main culprit was extensive sitting in a poorly designed chair. Research in cellular biology has shown that the cartilage cells of our intervertebral discs undergo intense pressure and are therefore unable to receive nourishment from normal blood supply due to immobility. The discs will gradually lose and may lead to acute neck pain, if this much needed movement ceases to happen. In worst cases scenarios, this turned out to be fatal or even caused temporary mobility.
In a study published in the European Spine Journal and conducted by Dr. Julia Hush of the Back Pain Research Group at the University of Sydney, found that 15 to 44% of people suffer pain in any one year, but recent studies suggest that office-workers are at higher risk of neck pain than others. Another interesting finding was that female workers were 3 times more likely to develop neck pain than their male counterparts. Also people who suffered high levels of personal psychological stress were over one and a half more times likely to suffer neck pain than others.
While the most extreme cases of neck pain may have to be seen by a chiropractor in order to help alleviate the pain, their is one solution that is much simpler and easier to do when you start experiencing neck pain so it does not get any worse. That solution is to purchase a new ergonomic office chair. An ergonomic office chair is a tool that, when used properly, can help one maximize back support and maintain good posture while sitting. However simply owning the ergonomic chair is not enough, it also needs to be adjusted to the proportions of the individual’s body to improve comfort and reduce aggravation to the low back and neck while sitting. An ergonomic chair that has a headrest can also greatly improve your neck comfort. With proper posture and a better ergonomic chair that will be able to adjust to the user’s body, your neck will certainly have reduced pain and work will be less painful all together.