With so many working from home these past months and likely for many more to come, the value of proper posture and/or an ergonomically correct office chair cannot be overstated.
By now, those who opted to use a dining room or other chair at their home workstation – thinking the seating arrangement was temporary – are coming to terms with a potentially long-term remote working situation. Those small aches and pains that have either suddenly appeared or become aggravated may be tell-tale signs that the chair you’ve been sitting on for hours per day is not exactly designed for health or comfort. Or it may be that your chair is doing the right work but your posture is the culprit. So before we get into the merits of an ergonomic chair, let’s see how you measure up to the posture test.
For comfort and wellbeing, the following posture tips should be kept in mind:
- Your neck should be straight and head evenly balanced.
- Shoulders should be relaxed so arms hang naturally and close to the body.
- Sit all the way back in the chair.
- Rest elbows and forearms comfortably on the arms of the chair without bearing weight.
- Use a pillow or rolled up towel for lumbar support.
- Adjust the height of the chair to accommodate work surface height.
- The top of your monitor should be at eye level or slightly lower and directly in front to avoid needing to turn your head.
- Your monitor should be at least an arm’s length away.
- Forearms should be at a 90-110-degree angle to the floor.
- Wrists should be straight when typing, not bent up or down.
- Thighs should be parallel to the floor.
- Feet should be flat on the floor or on a foot rest.
If you’re doing all the above and still feeling some pain and strain after a day at the home office, consider purchasing an ergonomic chair to promote correct posture. Office chairs with the proper ergonomics are adjusted to your sitting position and height, so legs remain at a 90-degree angle, promoting healthy blood circulation. Imagine a workday without your limbs feeling slightly numb come 5 o’clock! A quality ergonomic chair with adjustable headrest and backrest will help prevent stiffness developing in the neck and will also support the natural curve to the spine.
And let’s not forget perhaps the most important aspect of an ergonomic chair – it’s comfortable!
Working from home has its merits and demerits, but by practicing proper posture or taking advantage of the many high quality ergonomic chairs available, a sore back and stiff legs can be eliminated from the drawback list. And here’s another bonus – once properly seated, you just may find your workday more productive.
Hilary Troia is president of Office Gallery International (www.officegallery.net), a leading provider of office furniture and design services for the business community since 1989. She can be reached at [email protected].