Improve Your Health and Productivity with Office Chair Posture
You could buy the most expensive, ergonomic office chair — but without proper office chair posture, it wouldn’t matter. Let’s look at the right way to use ergonomic chairs so you can prioritize your health and wellness.
Why is office chair posture important?
Office workers are particularly vulnerable to the dangers of an incorrect sitting position. After all, they spend 75% of their waking hours sitting down.1 That’s why a good ergonomic office chair is essential for maintaining a correct sitting posture. Not only will it prevent short-term fatigue, but it’ll also prevent long-term damage to the lumbar spine and neck.
The weight of your working posture
The average human head weighs 5 kg, or 11 pounds. While that may not seem heavy, the pressure is compounded when you tilt your head forward and hunch your back. One study showed that by tilting the head forward at a 45-degree angle, the force your head puts on your neck increases to 22 kg, or 48 pounds.2 To put that number in perspective, that’s the weight of the average 7-year-old child. Think of the pressure that puts on those spinal discs.
Posture experts say it is imperative to position your head squarely over your shoulders. However, the alignment of your spine is even more critical, particularly in preventing lower back pain. This is why a good chair and posture awareness are your best assets.
When you slouch, your spine must work overtime to keep the discs from collapsing and sliding forward. Sitting in a poor position (slumped) can add about 30% more pressure to the back than upright sitting.3 Although it temporarily feels good, it deactivates the usual muscles that help you maintain a neutral spine. The puts pressure on your spine and can lead to lower back pain over time.
Office chair posture and back pain
These tips will help you work correctly and stay comfortable as you use an ergonomic chair throughout the day:
- The back should always be making contact with the chair’s back rest, with lumbar support cradling the spine’s natural curve. This slight, lower inward curve is natural.
- Hips should be positioned slightly above the knees.
- Keep a small gap between the back of the legs and seat.
- Keep the thighs horizontal.
- The arms should be relaxed at a right angle to the desk with wrists straight.
- The head and neck should be held in a neutral position squarely between your relaxed shoulders.
- Keep the feet flat on the floor. Adjust seat height as necessary.
- Place your monitor an arm’s length away from your head.
Is leaning back in a chair good office chair posture?
There’s debate as to whether leaning back in your office chair is better or worse than the 90-degree trunk-to-thigh angle. In fact, a healthy upright posture can be supplemented with leaning back — if your office chair has a tilt mechanism. Leaning back at 135 degrees generates the least pressure on the spine. But this isn’t necessarily a sustainable option. It could tempt you to lock your knees straight out in front of you. It can also pull you away from your keyboard, causing wrist or arm strain.
But occasionally, leaning back in your chair can be a healthy adjustment from a static posture. It’s certainly healthier than relaxing by slumping forward.
Don’t forget to move!
While office chair posture is crucial for preventing injury, it’s even more important to integrate healthy movement throughout the day. Spending much of your day seated can leave your spine sore, stiff, and in pain. Too much sitting, while it may be relaxing, puts stress on the muscles and discs of your back and neck.
Also, the longer you stay seated, the more likely you are to let your posture slide. Slouching can cause the spinal ligaments to stretch beyond their healthy limit, and poor posture can strain your spinal discs. In addition, while sitting, we often work on a computer or write at desks. This can resultin a high-pressure, forward head position.
If you spend long hours sitting, day after day, you can cause significant spine issues over time. The lumbar region is particularly vulnerable. Long periods of sitting, even with good posture, will speed up the wear and tear on your spinal discs. Neck and back pain can become a daily occurrence instead of an occasional problem.
An adjustable sit-stand desk is one of the best solutions to supplement your ergonomic office chair and health-conscious posture. A sit-stand desk with a height adjustment mechanism allows you to easily transition from sitting to standing as you work. Standing while working can boost your productivity and enables you to readjust your posture.
Office chair posture is easy with the right solutions
Maintaining healthy office chair posture at work is a great way to help keep your body safe and healthy. Fortunately, the ergonomic office chairs offered at Sedus can help you maintain good posture, no matter where you work. With a fantastic selection of stylish designs, you’ll find the right ergonomic office chair to stay comfortable all day long. Contact them today!
1 Office workers spend 75% of their waking hours sitting down
2 How much does your head weigh?
3 Back and Disc Pressure in Different Positions Chart