Many soft tissue injuries that we see in Clinic are caused by poor posture due to more of us sitting on a daily basis. Just by taking a little care and attention to your sitting posture, you can go a long way towards avoiding back, shoulder/neck pain/strain and issues such as RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury).
How to avoid problems at work:
- If you can, ask your Occupational Health Department or line manager for a “stand up desk”. These are personally my favourite invention as they encourage us to stand and not slouch, enable us to move around on the spot whilst working, keep us more alert and therefore more productive
- Adjust the height of your desk and chair to suit YOU, a good rule of thumb is that your work desk should be at least half your own height, while the chair (seat) should be at least one third of your height
- A wedge shaped cushion will put your back into a comfortable neutral position, or try an ordinary cushion placed at the back of the seat to lift the hips slightly, or a cushion behind the small of the back, can help
- A gently sloping desk top raises the working surface and allows for better posture
- Make sure you get up our of your chair every 15 – 20 minutes to stretch and walk about even if it’s only for a minute
How to sit comfortably:
- Make sure your hips are placed right into the back of the seat
- Don’t sit with both legs up on a stool unless this is necessary for medical reasons as it puts extra strain on the lower back. If you suffer from poor lower limb circulation or any other condition that requires you to rest with your legs elevated, allow your back to recline at a greater angle whilst adding plenty of cushions or pillows to support your back
- Avoid crossing your legs at the knees, not only does it affect circulation and cause trouble with your veins it exerts a twisting strain on your lower back
- Don’t sit for hours on the floor with straight legs for long periods it pulls on the lower back. If you like sitting on the floor, change your position frequently and use pillows or floor cushions to support you
- Get into the car but sitting first then swinging your legs into the cockpit and be careful if you are suffering from pain or twinge. When you get out of the car, swing your legs out first. Care when suffering from painful moments can make all the difference between irritating and protecting a potential injury
- Beware of sitting in bed reading or watching TV especially when you have back pain, it can make it much worse.
Hope you found this information of help and interest.