Ergonomic Seating

Written by Sierra Rein
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Proper ergonomic seating can mean the difference between a relaxed back and one wracked with pain and stiffness. Many injuries experienced by office workers are due to poor posture and undue pressure placed on the spine and wrist-bones. The first place to prevent this is through an ergonomically fit chair, followed by an easy to reach desk area.

Contrary to the old wives tales of yesteryear, good posture does not mean keeping the spine in an erect, 90° angle. Instead, a backwards recline is the best curvature for the back, as this position helps to relieve pressure from the lower back and allows full relaxation of the back and neck muscles. As long as the arms are able to reach the keyboard and other important desk items and see the monitor and any important documents, a person can sit as far back as they wish.

However, in ergonomic seating it is important that the head and neck be in line with the torso. The thighs should be parallel with the floor and the feet should either be flat on the floor or supported by an adjusted footrest. Improper leg positions can lead to bad circulation, pinched nerves and tired feet.

More Basics of Ergonomic Seating

When choosing an ergonomic chair, make sure it is adjustable for an individual's height and that it allows the hands, wrists and forearms to be in line with the floor. If the armrests force the shoulders up, they should be adjusted so that the upper arms hang naturally to the sides. Of course, ergonomic seating also means knowing when to take breaks, stand up and walk around, and perform small stretches to relieve the body of any rigidity.

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