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Tips on improving your health

How can a chair save your spine?

Did you know that sitting puts more stress on your spine than standing?

Office work typically involves a lot of sitting, usually in front of a computer. To avoid developing lower back problems, it's critical to use an ergonomically designed office chair. Ergonomics is the science of workplace equipment design intended to maximise productivity by reducing fatigue and discomfort. An ergonomic chair supports your lower back and helps maintain good posture.

There are many types of office chairs and no single chair is the best, but a few simple tips can save your joints much discomfort. If you have any doubts, always speak with your physiotherapist to help you find the right chair for your specific needs.

Here are five key factors to consider while choosing an ergonomic chair:

Seat height

Depending on your height, the seat should be between 40-55 cm from the floor. When sitting, your feet should be flat and your thighs parallel to the floor. Adjustable chairs can help you get the right height.

Seat width and depth

The depth (from the front to the back of the seat) needs to be enough so that you can sit with your back against the backrest with about 5-10 cm between the back of the knees and the seat of the chair. The seat tilt should be adjustable forwards or backwards as the right inclination can significantly reduce the strain on your lower back.

Backrest

The ideal backrest should support the natural curve of the spine. The more we sit, the more we tend to slouch. Therefore, proper lumbar support is very important for your spine.

Armrests

Armrests should be adjustable to allow your arms to rest comfortably and relax your shoulders. The elbows and lower arms should rest lightly.

Swivel & castors

Swivelling allows you to easily rotate to reach different areas of your desk without straining your spine. Look for a five-castor base that allows easy movement along the floor.

 

Remember to take breaks when sitting for long periods at a time. Follow the 50-10 rule. For every 50 minutes of sitting at your desk, spend 10-minute involving standing or walking. Also, be sure to include some stretching exercises. Talk to your physiotherapist for best stretches for you.

If you experience any discomfort from your current chair, take precautions to prevent serious injury. The following warning signs often result from extensive computer use or prolonged sitting at your desk and should never be ignored:

  • Numbness, tingling or weakness in the arm, hands or wrist
  • Shoulder pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Low back pain
  • Numbness, tingling or weakness in your legs

If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, talk to your physiotherapist today to determine your options and protect your spine.

Picking the right office chair can help you avoid the agony of low back pain and neck pain associated with full-time desk jobs. Too much time at the computer or several hours a day on the phone can also put your spine at risk. To learn more about ergonomics and correct body mechanics, give us a call right away.

 

World Physiotherapy Day

8th of September was World Physiotherapy Day. We celebrated the positive impact that physiotherapists have within the community, helping you to keep moving, stay active and remain independent throughout your life.

Physical activity or exercise can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits. Most importantly, regular activity can improve your quality of life so that you can continue to enjoy a full, balanced and active lifestyle doing the things you enjoy.

We are passionate about keeping you active and healthy. If you’re feeling your best, speak with us to see how we can help.

 

Further reading:

  • Back problems

    In some cases, back problems are serious enough to warrant a person to seek medical help. Back problems can be treated by physiotherapy with very positive outcomes.

  • Ergonomic consulting

    Physiotherapists are knowledgeable in the areas of anatomy, physiology and kinesiology, thus they are well equipped to perform ergonomic consulting in the workplace and the home.

  • Back pain

    Most people will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is common among athletes who strain their back muscles or it may be the result of spinal injuries such as fractures or sprains.

  • Keeping lower back pain at bay

    Some people suffer from chronic back pain and have resigned themselves to accepting this as their fate, however with the help of physiotherapy, back pain can be eliminated.

  • Back to basics

    Back pain affects everyone at some time in their life. It may be an isolated incident, as when you hurt your back during sports or exercise; unfortunately for many people, back pain is a chronic illness.


Disclaimer

We do not warrant or represent that the information in this site is free from errors or omissions or is suitable for your intended use. We recommend that you seek individual advice before acting on any information in this site. We have made every effort to ensure that the information on our website is correct at the time of publication but recommend that you exercise your own skill and care with respect to its use. If you wish to purchase our services, please do not rely solely on the information in this website.

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