Sit Right, Stand Properly

  • August 1, 2022
  • 2 minutes read

Today’s ergonomic furniture does more than provide comfort while you sit or stand at work.

It is unquestionable that we spend a lot of time at work, and those in more sedentary jobs are seated for long stretches at a time.

Health experts warn that prolonged sitting increases cancer risk. They say that sitting for a mere one to two hours without breaks compresses the spine, which leads to many medical problems in the back. “The human body is meant to be physically active; degeneration of muscles will occur when there is a lack of muscular stimulation in the form of regular movement or exercise,”, affirms a sports masseur. “For example, when a person frequently sits for long periods, the body senses that its bones do not need to be dense enough to carry the body weight in its legs and therefore directs less calcium to the leg bones. Your leg bones will get weaker and may fracture easily from an accident or fall. With the lack of movement of the whole body, muscles that control posture and movement will also reduce in size and sensitivity. The lack of agility may result in falls.”

With the issue of how employee health and well-being affect productivity being a concern for many companies around the globe, it is important to have the right furniture for staff.

What is the approach when buying furniture – desk or chair – if one suffers from orthopaedic issues?

Before buying, know your physical limitations or difficulties, and abilities in using any furniture. Consider one’s ability to stand up or sit down, lift or move arms or legs, turn the body a certain way to reach objects, lift or replace objects (especially if they are heavy). Then consider the design of the furniture, whether it aids of impedes your physical limjitations.

Any tips when buying an office chair?

Look for a chair with a slightly convex back as it is better for lower back support.

When seated, your legs should never be left dangling in the air. If the seat is too high, the back of the thighs is under a lot of pressure (especially if you are overweight). The compression on the thighs will result in poor blood circulation. The sciatic nerve to the legs can be impinged, too. You should be able to put your feet comfortably flat on the ground, which will support the weight of your legs. The more the legs dangle, the harder it is for blood from the legs to return to the heart.

Choose a chair seat with a larger surface area for the buttocks to rest and move.

What are three important tips when buying a desk?

The height is important because it determines how one holds the posture of the spine and the head (the head and shoulders should not be hunched to look at the screen). Unless one stands at the table, high table tops are not advisable. It’s better to have the table low enough so your arms and elbows can rest on it. This helps to support the body weight, too.

What are some advice when working for prolonged hours at the desk?

Don’t sit for too long at any one stretch. Always take breaks (at least 10 minutes for every hour), stand up and walk around.

Let’s look at some of today’s furniture designs that provide much-needed comfort and support for your spine, back and lumbar.

Office chairs and lounge chairs

Choosing the right ergonomic chair for your office – whether it is located at home or in a commercial building – can make a significant difference to your health and comfort. As mentioned, sitting for extended periods can take a toll on your spine health, resulting in chronic back issues and, at times, unbearable discomfort.

Adjustable desks

According to the Ergonomics Now website, reversing the effects of prolonged sitting is as easy as standing up. These desks allow users to alternate between sitting and standing positions. Regularly transitioning between these two positions at work adjust the amount of load put on the body, ensuring specific parts are at rest at some time, rhus reducing the risk factors of static muscle fatigue.

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