Do you suffer from pains in the neck, back arms or legs?
Do you sit in the same position all day?
Are you tired and aching at the end of the day?
If this applies to you, please read on.
A good chair cannot compensate for a poor posture.
The strain placed upon the spine by poor working habits (small though it is) may add up to permanent damage if maintained over a long period of time e.g. eight hours a day, five days a week over a period of months and / or years.
This is something that you can avoid if you take care to set yourself up correctly
The following are a number of the common faults that may cause your seat to be uncomfortable
v The chair is too high – the bottom slides forward so that the feet reach the floor
v The chair is too low. This can cause you to hunch your shoulders when working at the desk
v You sit with legs crossed. This tends to help round the spine.
v Not using the back rest helps to place extra stress on the spine
v Twisting the spine to use the telephone, pick up files or use the VDU. This tends to cause additional strain on the spine,
v Not adjusting the chair to suit your needs.
Can I help myself?
To find a good working posture you should adopt the following points
1) Sit on the chair with your bottom pushed well back; adjust the chair height so that the desk is at a comfortable height for paperwork. This means that your elbows should be at the same height as the desk top (if you are using a keyboard your elbows should be slightly higher than the surface of the desk. Ensure that your shoulders are relaxed
2) Rest your back on the backrest, check that this is adjusted as necessary (where possible) ensuring that:
a) The lumbar support maintains the natural curve, where this is not the case use a cushion or a lumbar role,
b) The tilt is set for maximum support and comfort,
c) The height is correct so as not to pinch the shoulder blades
3) In this position, the thighs should be supported without any pressure behind the knees or under the thighs and your feet should be flat on the floor. Where there is pressure on the back of the knees or thighs when your feet are flat on the floor, you will need to use a footrest.