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Sitting properly? Ergonomics for lower back and neck pain!

Consider the amount of ‘sitting time’ many workers experience during their lives for a moment… We drive or catch public transport to work (40mins – 1hr), we sit at our workstation for the work day (8-9hrs)  we drive home (40mins – 1hr), we then sit at the dinner table and afterwards slump on the couch to end the day (3hrs). A day in the life of the average desk worker adds up to an average of 12hrs sitting time per day!

People suffering from lower back and neck pain overwhelmingly report no specific accident or injury that started the problem. Upon further investigation by Chiropractors at Hands on Health Care Clinic, we often find that patients are spending prolonged amounts of time sitting with poor posture and sub-optimal workstation set up.

So how do you sit properly?

Here’s 3 fantastic tips for to prevent lower back and neck pain while seated.

proper seated position

  1. Firstly your hips and lumbar spine (lower back) position must be adjusted in order to maintain your natural lumbar curve. This is the dish shape at the lower portion of your spine and it must be maintained either through muscular effort or a properly designed chair. A too often overlooked component of posture is your pelvic position, having your sitting bones pushed as far back as possible towards the back of the chair will ensure proper positioning and also shape your lumbar spine correctly.
  2. Computer screen position is a crucial factor in maintaining a comfortable and durable neck and head position. While sitting upright with neck and shoulders back, the top of your computer screen should be horizontal with your eye level. Meaning you will be looking down 15 degrees when looking at the center of your screen. Ensuring your head is back as far back as possible will ensure reduced neck muscle and joint strain.
  3. Shoulders back and down! Hunching your shoulders up to to reach your keyboard and mouse is a constant source of tight shoulder and neck muscles. To keep your shoulders down raise your chair to a height that allows your forearms to sit in a horizontal position and your shoulders to hang rather than being shrugged up.

September 10, 2015
Georgina Smith