By Dr. David Lee, Chiropractor.
In this modern era, most of us spend the majority of our hours during the day sitting at a desk. Here are five simple tips that will help you to avoid workplace aches and pains, by maintaining an ideal curve for the spine and relaxed lower back and neck muscles:
1. Proper chair height
Your feet should be comfortably touching the ground, and your hips rest against the back of the chair. Your chair should be raised up high enough to ensure you have a hip angle of greater than 90 degrees – ideally it should rest between 110 to 135 degrees. This position allows your lower back bones to assume their most ideal curve and lets your head rest directly on top of your torso, creating proper posture while allowing your muscles to relax.
2. Proper lower back support
The lower back support of a chair should be large enough that you can rest your body weight on it, creating a natural curve which should relax the lower back muscles while keeping your shoulders upright. If your chair does not have enough lower back support, grabbing a firm couch cushion or getting a lower back aid designed for your chair can be effective as well.
3. Computer use
For ideal posture while using a computer, the top 1/4th of the monitor’s height should be at eye-level. Ensure your computer is not too high or low for your body height. If you are using your cell phone or reading a book, hold it up as close to eye-level as you can without tiring your arms. If the object you are looking at must be lower than eye-level, try to keep your back straight and flex your neck only, rather than bending your entire spine to lean forward.
Armrests are often positioned too high, which causes shoulders to shrug up and tense the surrounding muscles. To find an ideal arm position while sitting, drop your elbows down beside your body without using any support and relax your upper back and shoulder muscles completely. Take a look at where your elbows rest and that is your ideal armrest height. Another note: Avoid using an armrest while using a keyboard or mouse, as this can lift and strain your shoulders.
5. Abdominal breathing
Another way to reduce back pain is by allowing the abdominal muscles to move as we breathe. Breathing not only allows us to intake oxygen, but our body also uses breathing to stabilize our torso. Having proper back support allows your abdominal muscles to relax, which in turn allows the diaphragm (the dome-shaped muscle that sits on the bottom of your ribs) to inflate your stomach, much like a balloon. This accomplishes two things:
1. It allows your neck and chest muscles to relax, as they no longer have to raise your ribs up with every breath.
2. Abdominal breathing can stretch out your core muscles, which can ultimately bring stability to your torso.
By following the above instructions, you should have your mid-back sitting either directly on top of your pelvis or slightly behind it, and your neck resting right in line with your torso. If are sitting at an ideal position, your ears should be directly in line with your shoulders and your elbows should rest comfortably at your side. You should feel your abdominal muscles moving as you breathe and your lower back supported and not strained. Try these tips out and let us know how they work for you!
Read more about our chiropractor Dr. David Lee or schedule a free consultation by calling (02) 749-4849 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!