OK so we all know that working from home can really take a toll on your body. With increasing amounts of neck, shoulder pain, headaches and jaw ache coming in to the clinic… I have been asked by many patients WHAT CHAIR DO I BUY????
So in terms of chairs, it’s actually really important to think about the chair’s relationship to the desk. And getting a desk set up where you can just as easily stand as you can sit is probably THE most important thing. So if you’ve done this, then ideally you will only be sitting for 30 minute periods before moving around and going to a standing position. Sometimes it is just about moving more than anything else, but getting the right chair can help too.
I think seats where you have the ability to sit upright with your back supported, bottom right back in the seat, sitting evenly on both sitting bones so you don’t have to lean forwards and away from the back of the chair are the best ones you can find. So if the chair’s back slopes backwards then this really doesn’t help. Use a pillow to help support you if needed.
The seat needs to be able to come right in and under the table. So that your wrists and arms can rest, rather than having to over stretch or reach. Particularly with the mouse hand. That is vital. If you are too far away, your head neck and shoulders are in a compromised position, and this then causes compression of your ribs and diaphragm, and abdominal cavity, particularly when working for long periods of time without a break. There is a significant relationship between sitting for long periods and abdominal cramps, congestion, pelvic pain and constipation, and from this picture you can really see why.
If you have arm rests that can then be moved so you can get closer to the desk this is really beneficial.
Being able to be square on to the computer or desk is also important, if you are always rotating one way then this will aggravate rib, shoulder, neck issues.
Then every 30 minutes do a check in on yourself.. Ears over shoulders, chest lifted, torso long rather than folded forwards. Almost like a chin tuck.
If you are standing, you can even add some squats in there. Set an alarm and do 10 squats every 30 minutes. Your legs, pelvis, hips, and entire body will love you for it. Even if you set yourself an alarm and change posture or position every 30 minutes, this can make a significant difference to you and your body. Making sure you can breathe a full deep breath, and not be in pain. Standing rather than sitting can positively influence your metabolic state, and use more muscles, burn over 120 extra calories, and keep your pelvis, spine and hips more open. You can breathe better, and have a happier gut too. 😊 Your stomach, and bowels are able to move more fluidly, and are not stuck in a compressed position for so long. Constipation can be a severe issue with sitting down for prolonged periods. Our immune system is found in our gut, so we need the whole of the abdomen to be happy, and not compromised.
No posture is necessarily a bad posture, unless you are there for too long! Allowing the fascia and muscles, ligaments and joints to change positions means that fatigue never gets a chance to set in, and our bodies are happier, more fluid, and less negative impact on our bowels, gynae, abdomen, heart and lungs, spine and pelvic floor. So keep moving 😊😊
If you want more individual advice, or a hands on treatment to help get your body more able to adapt to a more comfortable posture, then book in to see us. Sometimes we have restrictions in our neck, ribs, spine, hips, and pelvis, or anywhere else through the chain which can impede your body from being able to sit or even stand in a more comfortable balanced position whilst you work. If you are still in pain, or finding some of these positions difficult to get into, then you may well benefit from a full osteopathy assessment and hands on treatment. We are here to help.
You can book online to see one of our osteopaths, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading, Jo.