Set Your Chair, Support Your Spine

Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c4/Bad_posture.jpg

As when going down a mogul run, in the office our spine should also be neutral, balanced and stable.

Our chairs have a major impact on whether we are able to achieve this.
Sitting bolt upright is NOT the best position for your back. Ideally you should have your chair back slightly reclined. If you sit slightly back from vertical then gravity becomes your friend, pressing your back into firm contact with your chair backrest. If you sit bolt upright, the minute you shift your weight slightly forward to reach for your keyboard or mouse, gravity tries to push you over into a hunched posture…..and usually gravity comes out the winner!

Use the following tips to make sure your chair is a good fit:

  • Are your hips squarely at the back of the seat?
  • Are your feet comfortably flat on the floor, not resting on the wheels below?
  • Is there 2”-4” of space between the back of your knees and the edge of the chair?
  • Is your back squarely on the backrest or are you sitting at the front of the chair?
  • Do you feel the the inward curve of your low back being supported by your chair?
  • As the picture shows on the right, you can support your back safely in many seated positions. Set up both your chair and your workstation so you can reach everything from a supported posture. It doesn’t matter how well your chair fits, if you lean forward out of it to squint at your monitor that is too far away, you’re back to square one!

Try to eliminate the factors that pull you into a slouched posture, and then stand and stretch regularly – your back will thank you later!