If you are a working mum who sits for long hours at her desk, you may have heard of ergonomic chairs or considered buying one. Ergonomic chairs are designed to promote proper posture by aligning your spine and supporting the natural curve of your lower back. This makes them very comfortable and easy to use. Ergonomic chairs feature adjustable seat height, backrest angle, and armrest positions, that allows you to customize the chair to fit your unique body shape and preferences. This can be easily achieved by using some simple hack and tips that we will discuss in this blog.
Most ergonomic chairs come with an in-built lumbar support that can be adjusted to match the curve in your lower back This will support the muscle that are located in the deepest parts of the lumbar curve, thus preventing slouching. This in turn reduces the risk of developing issues like back pain, neck pain, shoulder stiffness, etc. An external lumbar support can be used instead to replace this in an office chair. A quick alternate hack for this is to roll up a towel and place it in the curve of your lower back.
Another way to prevent slouching at the back is to keep your pelvis tilted forwards. This can be easily achieved by keeping your hip joint slightly above the level of your knee joint. This is difficult to achieve with a chair that has a bucket or deep seat. A wedge cushion can be used to achieve a pelvic forward tilt as it places your lumbar curve in a good posture, thereby avoiding slumping or rounding at the lower back. This tip is also applicable to your car seat when you are driving.
The height of an ergonomic chair can be easily adjusted to enable you to keep your forearms rested on the desk. This can be replicated by adjusting either the height of your chair or desk, such that the angle between the arm and forearm is around 90 degrees. This puts the shoulders and upper back into a good posture, preventing shrugging of the shoulders and thus neck and shoulder pain.
Another feature of ergonomic chairs is an in built foot support. This enables you to keep your feet firmly planted on the floor when you sit. This prevents the stresses from building up the chain into the knees, hips, pelvis and lumbar spine. If your office chair is too high this can be achieved by putting a foot stool under your feet, so they can rest on the stool. A bonus tip here is to keep the tripod of your foot on the floor in sitting to make sure that your body weight is evenly distributed on the feet. Tripod of the feet are ball of the big toe and ball of the little toe and the heel.
Watch this video to learn "How Can You Improve Your Posture When Sitting?"
A bonus hack when using an office chair is to keep your cervical spine in a neutral position. By keeping the top of your screen 5 to 10 degree below the horizontal gaze. This avoids poor postures such as Forward head posture that can lead to neck and shoulder pain. You may have to get a separate keyboard or a monitor if you use a laptop for work, if you want to do this and also keep your forearms on the desk in a neutral position (as described above).
HERE is a guide to help you maintain a good sitting posture while working from home. It is also applicable whenever you are sitting, whether at work in the office or watching television in the house.
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