Whether you have a good office chair or not, if you sit on it for too long you are bound to end up getting aches and pains in your back. One way you can prevent such health risks of sedentary work is to maintain a good posture, which can not only do wonders for your back muscles but also your well-being in general.
What’s important to keep in mind when ensuring that you sit at your desk properly is to take regular breaks – at least five minutes every hour – and have standing or walking meetings. For example, when having to communicate something to a colleague at your workplace, try walking to them instead of sending them an email.
Regular movement is also key if you’re working from home. A hard kitchen chair is probably not as good as an office chair, so taking more breaks is essential.
Understanding how your office chair works is also something important to consider. As ergonomist Matt Birtles puts it, good posture is about being relaxed and having as much surface area of your body in contact with the chair as possible, such as the lumbar support going right into the curve of your back.
Start with your feet firmly on the floor or a footrest, and adjust the height. If it is too easy to slip your fingers under your thighs, your seat is too low; if it is too hard, your seat is too high. It is inevitable that you will slouch – our muscles get fatigued quite quickly – but if your chair is set up properly, you won’t slouch very far.
So, if sitting is a big part of your working life, next time you’re at your desk try following the above-mentioned tips to keep those back pains at bay.