Work ergonomics in front of the computer
You certainly will benefit from investing time and money into preparing your work station according to ergonomic rules. Undoubtedly, time dedicated to perform our work has a huge influence on our mental and physical health. Work, no matter what you do, is tiresome – it does not matter if you are a driver, seamstress, builder, or office worker. Every job has some factors influencing our health. Considering this website’s content, I will focus on the issue of the back and spine.
Your chair: misleadingly the most comfortable is usually the worst. A rounded sitting area and backrest, despite being comfortable, causes excessive muscle stretching while simultaneously loosening muscles in the front of the torso. Sitting for a short period in that position does not cause any damage, but if it becomes a routine then we can end up with a hunched back. Extensive straightening of lumbar lordosis may cause strong pain, and pulling your head and neck forward can cause pain in your shoulders. It can also cause headaches (please read “Painkillers and back pain” for more information). This is why we need to remember to sit up straight. Putting one leg behind the other, when not done symmetrically, can cause a change in pelvis positioning, leading to lumbar vertebrae rotation and pain in the lumbar curve. Our spine is made for movement, and unchanged positions can lead to pathological changes.
The correct position
1) Feet placed symmetrically
2) Knee line slightly lower than the hip line (the pelvis is automatically leaned forwards)
3) Straight and not twisted torso
4) Back should look like a wave ~, with the torso pushed out slightly
5) Head in line with the body – not pushed forwards
6) Keep abdominal muscles slightly tense (pull in your stomach slightly)
1) If working on the computer, place it directly in front of you. It is best when placed at eye-level, so you do not need to look up or down at the screen.
2) Move slightly in the chair so you can comfortably sit in the position where your knees and below your hips. If required, raise the chair’s level.
3) To encourage our organism to at least minimal changes in sitting static, sit on a correction disc, or use a pillow.
4) When possible, get up from the chair as often as possible, even for a few seconds. Make a few steps, circle your arms, stretch. Give your back at least a short break!
5) From time to time twist your neck in all directions. Take a deep breath and relax, if only for a few seconds.
6) Do not lean if you do not have to. Leaning makes your stabilization to loosen, which can cause permanent changes in muscle tension, and even joint positioning.
7) A good solution is to sit on a kneeling chair, or even better, on a corrective ball. It creates a lot of movement opportunities for the spine.
8) Fight stereotypes. It may look strange at the beginning, but soon enough your colleagues will follow suit.
9) Good luck!