How many hours a week do you spend sitting at a desk in your office? Thirty? Forty? All that time sitting with bad posture can do a number on you physically, especially taking its toll on your back.
But there are ways to prevent some of the discomfort. (Besides the tips below, most experts recommend getting up every hour for a few minutes and getting away from your screen.)
Sitting in an office chair
Spending eight hours a day in a chair can lead to some bad habits. Here’s how you should set up your desk and chair to leave behind some of those posture mistakes.
• Make sure your chair is at the right height so your feet rest flat on the floor, with your hips slightly higher than your knees.
• Your back should be flush against the seat.
• You also want to be the correct distance away from the desk, so only about two thirds of your forearms should touch the desk.
• Set up your monitor so your eyes are lined up with the top third of the monitor. Move your eyes instead of your neck.
Try out a non-traditional seat
There’s also a school of thought that calls for “active seating.” That’s a type of seating that allows or forces a person to be active instead of just sitting still. Think of this as a step down from a standing desk.
Your core muscles (like your abs and back) will get a minor workout, as will your legs. It’s important to ease into using these seats as your body may not be accustomed to using some of those muscles while sitting.
Examples of active seats include:
• The ErgoErgo active seating stool, which has an accordian design and won’t roll away.
• An exercise ball. (To improve stability issues, there are versions of this with a wheeled, chair frame.)
• A Mogo seat, which looks like a tiny seat attached to the bottom part of a pogo stick.
• A kneeling chair (where your weight rests on your inclined knees, instead of your butt and back).
• Wobble stools naturally tilt and move with your control.
Heck, if you’re really into this, there are even entire desks with built-in exercise bikes and treadmills.
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