Back pain: Proper Posture = Productivity!
Facts to consider when choosing your office chair…
How long can you sit or stand in the same position while trying to focus, before your lower back, neck, wrists, and entire body sends pain triggers to your brain?
When you are sitting or standing in a bad posture, your muscles are constantly fighting to support your body and bring it back into a good position. Over time, these muscles start to develop adverse physiological changes and restrictions creating that nagging pain or ache.
Once a muscle is being held in an improper position for long periods of time and then stressed, it causes body performance changes that can create decreased blood flow and misalignment or tightness of muscles causing injury. Muscle strength and endurance promote better posture.
There is no shortcut for the long, hours, that you may have to spend working in your chair. Why not invest some of that time in your health and well-being too?
“If you are not comfortable, you are not productive… “
Important decisions to consider when choosing the proper office chair:
Do you want to be standing or sitting while working?
Maybe you would like the option to do both?
Before deciding on the right office chair consider the following facts:
“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking…”
“We are sitting ourselves to death,” says James Levine, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, in an interview with the LA Times. “The chair is out to kill us.”
You may have heard the saying, “sitting is the new smoking,” which is credited to Dr. Levine. He’s not the only one who believes that we are sitting ourselves to death.
Research supports his claim.
Our bodies are not designed to sit in the same position for long periods of time. Study’s show that people in the US spend more than half of their awake hours doing something while sitting down. The evidence is clear: excessive periods of sitting in one position in the wrong chair will increase your chances of getting sciatica, back, neck, elbow/wrist, and shoulder problems. It can also increase your chances of certain types of cancers, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and obesity.
In “Rethinking Sitting” a book by: Peter Obsvik, a Norwegian design legend , and industrial designer of gravity chairs and the award winning
Hag Capisco Chair, believes, “if we are allowed to move, we move”, Moving occurs naturally.
He addresses the issue of whether there is only, “one”functionally best design for the human body:
When the various authorities on ergonomics promote their one and only “correct” sitting posture, he says all of them are right: Every recommended sitting posture is good. Opsvik sees it as his task to design chairs that allow as many different sitting or standing postures as possible and make it easy to move and change frequently between positions.
His inspiration for the “Hag Capisco” ergonomic office chair was of the horseback riders dynamic posture. The goal was to create a work chair that would invite the user the greatest amount of natural sitting postures, and for people who use a standing desk, he introduced the “perching position”, which is not possible in conventional office chairs.
The Hag Capisco comes in a variety of models, The Hag Capisco 8106 is totally upholstered for maximum comfort and hosts options such as the detachable headrest. The Red Dot Award winning Hag Capisco 8010 models are made with a molded plastic frame and optional full seat pad or partial seat pad. All the Hag Capiscos come with three adjustable heights, built in foot rests, and many available upholstery and colors in their “quick ship program”.
If a mesh chair is more your style and don’t want to spend over $800 on a Herman Miller Aeron chair. If you want the important ergonomic features on a breathable mesh chair, check out all the features on the Hag Sofi Mesh Chair. The Norwegian designers of Hag have designed the most innovative ergonomic mesh chair on the market today . HÅG in Balance® technology ensures more subconscious movement to avoid any discomfort, (balanced, flowing tilt function backwards and forward). Adjustable seat height and depth, and unique fully functional lumbar support.
The HÅG SlideBack armrests allow you to move closer to your desk, invite you to sit sideways or use the armrests as elbow support. There isn’t a mesh chair designed with so many ergonomic features as the Sofi Mesh 7500.
If your space is too small for a regular size office chair, you may want to consider an ergonomic stool, like the Hag Capisco 8107, also with the posture seat and height options.
Investment: How much will I have to spend on an ergonomic posture chair ?
If an average person spends the equivalent of 10 consecutive years sitting in their chair, if you divide the cost of a high quality ergonomic office chair, like the Capisco 8106 model for example, you will spend less than 23 cents per day sitting comfortably while protecting your posture health.
Do you want to be standing or sitting while working? Or both?
Facts to consider regarding the standing desk:
The standing desk movement in the US was started by
Dr. James Levine at the Mayo Clinic.
Standing does give you a number of benefits, however, sometimes standing for too long can be impractical and could possibly even affect your Health too.
Movement is also key here …
There are several variations of the standing desks:
The desktop riser that you place on top of your existing desk is one option. These can be as simple as lifting the riser manually, like the “Danson” or if you prefer to have your riser do the lifting automatically, with a touch pad motor, memory and equipped with charging outlets, consider the DT Riser by AMQ solutions.
If you have adequate working space another option is a stand up desk or table with different lengths and size configurations. These can also come motorized or non motorized.
Standing on an anti-fatigue mat, or a foot stool with a shiatsu ball like the
“Hag Step Up” can also be helpful as they stimulate nerves and relax sore muscles in your feet. All of these are great options for adding more movement to your day.
And while you’re standing, keep changing positions: stretching or do yoga, walking around, stay active every hour…
Switch from sitting to standing throughout the day, with the goal to eventually stand for half of your workday. You may find it helpful to set an alarm on your computer, phone, or tablet, to move around. This could be to switch from sitting to standing at your desk, to get a water break, to stretch, etc.
Do your due diligence, educate yourself on proper ergonomic furniture.
Invest in your most valuable asset, your health and well-being …
Author: Lauren Owens: Ergonomist, Posture Expert, Feng Shui Designer, Yoga Instructor