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BREAKING BACKS

BREA KING BACKS by Nick Nunes How are you sitting right now? Do you generally have good posture? More people than ever before are sitting behind desks staring at computer screens for hours on end, whether for work or recreation. Today, many modern offices afford their worker bees the option for standing desks that can be adjusted to height. Whether you’re more comfortable

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BREA KING BACKS by Nick Nunes How are you sitting right now? Do you generally have good posture? More people than ever before are sitting behind desks staring at computer screens for hours on end, whether for work or recreation. Today, many modern offices afford their worker bees the option for standing desks that can be adjusted to height. Whether you’re more comfortable

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AND WORK PLACE WOES

by

Nick Nunes

How are you sitting right now? Do you generally have good posture? More people than ever before are sitting behind desks staring at computer screens for hours on end, whether for work or recreation.

Today, many modern offices afford their worker bees the option for standing desks that can be adjusted to height. Whether you’re more comfortable working on your feet or sitting at your desk, the levels of your work should come to you rather than you reaching out for your work.

Thankfully, most office chairs are very adjustable and can cater to all heights. You may, however, need to incorporate a foot rest to truly cater to the perfect sitting posture for long hauls of sitting at a desk.

Back support is the number one adjustment to be made to the way you sit at your desk. Keeping everything within a comfortable reach is also extremely important, as well as keeping your different body parts at the best levels to avoid strain and stress.

Support your back

Your lower back is where you’re going to receive a lot of stress sitting upright all day long. It’s important to make certain that you have adequate lower lumbar support. Choosing a chair, or adjusting your chair, so that the protruding part of the back rest is nestled within the curve of your lower back can do wonders for your comfort at the desk.

It might take some frustrating minutes to figure out just how to adequately align the back of your chair with the natural curves of your spine but it will be totally worth it in the long run. Having a chair that can be easily adjusted to change the height, back position, and tilt will make sitting at your desk less of a stress on the spine.

You shouldn’t have to lean forward to reach things on your desk. The arms of the chair should be able to move under the desk with ease and your knees should be slightly lower than your hips.

You may want to use a footrest if it feels necessary to keep your thighs nearly parallel with the floor.

Adjust your chair

Along with all the comfort adjustments for your back and knees, it’s also good to have your upper body properly levelled with the desk.

Adjusting your chair height so you can use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the desk. This can help prevent repetitive strain injuries.

Keeping your elbows to the side of your body and pointing downward, rather than cocked out to the sides can ease stress on your shoulders. Your elbows should be by the side of your body so your arm forms an L-shape at the elbow joint. The keyboard should be slightly lower than the L of your arms so that you aren’t bending your wrists uncomfortably upward to type for long stretches.

Rest your feet on the floor

Feet flat on the floor, even though you’re sitting, gives you stability and a resting reduction of strain. If your knees are pointing downward, that can change the resting curve of your back and can lead to compressing your spine. Over extension can occur if your knees are too high and thus forcing a slightly forward lean in your posture.

Crossing your legs can also lead to too much strain if sustained for too long. With your feet closed together, the orientation of your thighs changes and the hip joints can suffer from being strained into this position for too long.

Eyes ahead makes everything easier

Today, more and more office workers are using laptops even when they’re not on the go. Your workplace should be able to provide you with a lift or a higher screen to utilise while toiling away. With your back comfortably against your chair, you can extend your arm directly in front of you and that is how far away your screen should reside.

Keeping the monitor at eye level prevents you from having your head tilted down to stare at the screen.

With the screen at eye level, you’ll find yourself rolling and stretching your neck fewer times throughout the day as it rests at its most relaxed position.

Facing your work – right in front

Quite often, people will have their keyboard off to the side rather than directly in front of the screen they are typing on. With the keyboard directly in front of you as you type looking directly ahead at your screen, you don’t have to turn or tilt or adjust your posture for your work.

It’s more relaxing when work comes to you rather than when you have to adjust to address the work. It’s also good to leave a little space for rest. Keeping your keyboard six inches away from the edge of the desk gives your arms a little area to rest upon between bouts of typing.

This can also help to keep your arms in the comfortable L bend that will help to relax your shoulders while working and resting. You may want to add a wrist rest to prevent your wrists from bending upward too much when typing. Typing at too much of an angle either up or down can lead to stress, strain, and severe fatigue in the arms, wrists, and hands.

Make objects easy to reach

If you find yourself constantly stretching out of your comfortable position to reach the phone, the mouse, the keyboard, the printer, or scanner or whatever else you often utilise in your workspace, then you should probably just bring those things closer and more level within the ease of reach.

Keeping your mouse close by to your keyboard ensures that you’re not swinging your shoulders open to reposition your cursor all the time.

Keeping your desk phone within arm’s length is also a perfect way to keep your posture while dialling numbers, checking messages, and taking calls.

Remember, stretch when you can

Take breaks, there’s no law against it. If you feel the need to stand up and go for a quick walk, then do it. Your health is more important than whatever you’re working on—it always will be.

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