Sitting in front of a computer all day can lead to all manner of different health problems, from eye strain through to a lack of fitness. We have evolved over thousands of years to spend our days engaging in strenuous physical activities, yet over the past few decades technology and our evolving social structure have lead us to a point where we now spend the majority of our time inactive.
With new studies showing that spending too much time sitting down can be as detrimental to our health as smoking, it may well be time for businesses to think harder about how they structure their workspace and indeed their workforce’s time to keep them as healthy as possible.
One of the most detrimental aspects of office work to human health is the fact that so many of us will adopt the wrong posture when sitting down, slouching into our chairs or hunching ourselves over our keyboards. Bad posture can reduce energy levels, cut off circulation and cause many different muscular issues, from stiff necks through to bad backs. However, by sourcing the right ergonomic furniture solutions and spending a little time focussing on posture, individuals could find they are a great deal more energised, have higher morale and are far less likely to be plagued by muscular niggles.
If you don’t want sitting at your desk to become a literal pain in the neck, you will first need to source the right furniture and ensure that your chair is positioned in the right way. At Furniture at Work™, we stock a range of adjustable posture chairs that help align the body, allowing you to get into the right position without effort. If you prefer to go for more traditional work chairs, then choose options that are extremely flexible. The desk chairs you use should allow you to easily change the height of the chair, the seat position and the angle of the backrest.
If you are too far back, or too far forward, your body position will be off and your muscles will be forced to overcompensate. Your ears should stay in line with your shoulders, resting directly above them. If you have to crane your neck closer to the screen to see what you are doing, consider enlarging the content so you can sit further back. Likewise, if the screen seems blindingly bright and leaves you wanting to lean away from it, reduce the contrast to make it more comfortable for you to remain sitting up straight.
Keep your feet flat on the ground, and ensure you are not crossing your legs. While it may feel more comfortable to splay your legs out in front of you, always try to keep them flat on the floor and uncrossed. It is also important to keep your shoulder blades back so that you do not slump your shoulders. Try looking down – If your chest is not out in front of you, there is a chance you are not sitting correctly.
If you struggle to make the necessary changes to your posture by yourself, try using a lumbar support to do the hard work for you. You may also want to consider looking up some desk exercises on the internet that will help you prepare your body for the rigours of stillness.
No matter how much time and energy you put into adopting the right body position, sitting at a desk all day can still cause your body problems, both in the short-term and the long. Try to incorporate as many breaks as possible into your daily routine. This doesn’t mean that you have to stop working, but merely that you should schedule in some time to move around. To do this, you may want to take all your calls while moving around inside or outside of the office, or you may just want to take a break every hour to make yourself a drink. Either way, it is not just your body that will benefit from the break – your morale and concentration levels are both likely to be boosted too.