If you’re living a modern lifestyle, with head-down days at the office and not much time to stretch your legs, chances are you may have problems with back pain or the spine in your lifetime. It’s a growing problem for many office workers, but one that can be reduced by using good posture, keeping your desk and computer screen at the right height, and using a properly adjusted chair that supports your back.
Choosing a chair
The right office chairs can make you more productive because it can help you prevent back pain and other detrimental ailments that can be developed from prolonged sitting. The NHS suggests that a backrest which supports the small of your back can help reduce back pain while sitting down. Simply slipping a cushion or rolled-up towel between your back and the backrest can work, but if you spend large portions of time seated, consider investing in an ergonomically designed office chair. The ideal one will have a tall back and headrest which is shaped to the curve of your spine, be slightly padded, but not too soft, and adjustable in terms of height.
Adjusting your seat
The most beautifully designed furniture in the world won’t help you unless it’s properly adjusted. The Alexander Technique, a method that teaches good posture, recommends that you sit with your knees slightly lower than your hips, which straightens the spine, so make sure your chair is high enough to allow this. Keep the back upright, to stop yourself from slouching backwards, and lean lightly against the headrest to stop your back muscles from getting tired.
If your chair is too low or is non-adjustable, consider getting wooden blocks, or simply a stack of old books, to raise the back legs. This will raise your hips above your knees and instantly improve posture.
Furniture to match
Working at a desk that’s too high or too low will put strain on your shoulders, so make sure that your desk height matches the height of your seat. If necessary, put your desk or chair on blocks, a box or a footstool.