What in the world is Ergonomics?

Ergonomics has been stated as the study of movement efficiency in peoples’ working environments. While some job environments allow for moving and changing positions constantly (like mine, thank goodness!), many people’s jobs require them to be seated for hours at a time. Proper sitting posture can be very tricky to master. Poor sitting posture is harmful to your spine and can lead to pain, neurological symptoms, and/or headaches.

So….What does the ideal sitting posture look like?

Here is a breakdown from toe to head (from the ground up) of good posture while sitting at a computer:

  1. Feet​: Flat on the floor or on a foot rest if you are vertically challenged (that’s politically correct
    terminology for short).
  2. Knees​: Should be below the level of the hips. No crossing legs or ankles!
  3. Hips​: Bottom should be all the way back in the chair with some sort of lumbar (low back) support ie. a towel roll. Be careful not to over arch your back.
  4. Trunk​: Your chest should be up, collar bones lifted to the ceiling with a slight pinch or tension between your shoulder blades.
  5. Shoulders​: Rolled back and down, ideally they should be relaxed and away from your ears..
  6. Elbows​: Should be dangling down at your side. Do not use arm rests on the chair!
  7. Wrists​: Should be below the level of the elbows while using a keyboard tray pulled out over your legs.
  8. Head​: Looking forward with your chin down and back.
  9. Eyes​: Looking straight ahead at the middle of the monitor.

*Always seat yourself in your chair first with the best posture, then adjust your environment around you. Make your desk space work for you, not the other way around.

*It is ideal to stretch and move every 15-­20 minutes. It can actually help you to stay focused and increase your productivity while at work.

*Try to utilize the ergonomic features on your chair. Many chairs allow the seat to tip down, lowering your knees below your hips. Also, you may want to take the armrests off completely, so you are not tempted to lean down to them.

Hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised when the smallest change to your environment makes the biggest change to your pain or symptoms.

Heal to Live
Cheers,
M and D