One thing that can positively affect your whole physicality is proper ergonomics. Ergonomics, simply put, is using your body efficiently and correctly. Muscles are often used for holding the body in place, however, muscles are not meant for this purpose, but instead, used or movement. It is the bones which are meant for stabilization. Yes, muscles take part of this, but as a secondary mechanism versus as the protagonist. I often see people sitting hunched over their computers or their phones and I cringe to think what is happening to their body. You can see from the picture below how your body looks when you are sitting incorrectly: the spine becomes bent, and around those bones, muscles go into hyperactivity to hold the posture.
This causes pain including headaches. Not only that, but consider the long term affects. When you look at the middle picture, what does it remind you of? Have you ever seen older people hunched and bent over unable to straighten their bodies? This hunchback is called kyphosis. Sitting at a desk all day, the body and mind begin to evolve and start setting the curved back as its return to “home” position. Over time, it becomes harder and harder for someone over-sitting with poor ergonomics to straighten their body and this causes back pain, from the lower back to the upper neck. So what are some simple and easy things you can do to make sure to prevent hunchback?
- Make sure your feet are flat on the floor. Sorry ladies, you may to take your high heels off for this one. Men too. The average men’s shoe has about an inch heel. Each inch adds about 17 lbs of pressure to the knee. With locked knees, this can cause lifelong detriment and damage. For example, what is a part of the body that you often hear needs to be replaced…? The knee. Think about it.
- Measure about 2.5 fists between the knees. This will bring the knees in line with the hips.
- Make sure your back is against the back of the chair and comfortable supported.
- Your computer screen should be at eye level reducing the need to look down. This alone will drastically reduce back and neck pain as well as headaches.
- Arms are supported with the top of the arm flat for typing.
- And finally, the most simple and easy change, increase your font! When font size is not large enough, what happens is that you must lean forward to look at the screen and
possibly squint your eyes.
By doing these few things, you will create a healthier happier body, reduce pain, and lower fatigue as holding the body in an incorrect posture causes the body to be in a continual energy crisis. Happy sitting (with constant breaks!) everyone!