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Sitting and Posture in the Office

08 June 2021

If you are one one of the many employees working in the office, then you may be spending a huge amount of your day every day sitting on your workstation. The longer hours you put in, it not only contributes to a sedentary lifestyle but you are at risk of having musculoskeletal pains like neck, back, and numbing of legs. Repetitive strain injuries are also common with office workers.

On average, people spend nine hours of the day sitting down whether they be in the office or not.

According to studies, prolonged sitting and inactivity are linked with being obese, some types of cancers, premature death, and type 2 diabetes. This is because prolonged sitting has been found to slow down the metabolism or the breakdown of food eaten during the day.

This has a domino effect on the body's natural capability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure, and the breakdown of body fat. That is why it is advised to exercise regularly at least 150 minutes every week along with reducing the time spent sitting down. 

There are several ways to cut down time spent sitting down.

It can be done at home, while you're on the move, or at the office. You can try walking around or talking to people face to face instead of chatting or emailing. Taking the stairs or walking up an escalator not only reduces your time spent sitting down, but it is also a form of exercise.

So you can hit two birds with one stone. You can also stand while commuting or stretch out your legs from time to time in the office. Your eyes also need a few minutes break from the computer monitor within your shift. While it is true that technology has caused the greater population to spend a great deal of time sitting, it is still a choice to cut back on it. 

To gauge if you're sitting down a little bit higher than the average, if you sit for around 4 hours a day then that would be low risk to the adverse effects. If it is between four to eight hours a day, that would be medium risk. If it is still more than that, for example, eight to eleven hours per day that would be high risk. The worst of all would be very high risk with sitting time of eleven hours or more each day. 

On a global scale, an average human sits for around 7.7 hours per day.

Some people could sit up to 15 hours per day. Approximately 20 minutes of fixed position like sitting is all it takes for the body to inhibit the metabolism of your body. On the other hand, standing for three hours each day will burn 30,000 calories and eight pounds of body fat. If we convert this amount, it would be equal to running 10 marathons.

However, it is still needed to sit down, especially in the office. To minimize the adverse effect of it we can take breaks and improve our posture. Do note that even in a sitting position it is still better and healthier to change up your position to prevent strains and back pain. So how do we define a good posture in the office setting? 

Make sure the head is above the shoulders and you are not slouching. The next is you are going to have to check if your back is fully supported while your back and the seat are in contact with each other. 

Apart from that, the hip bone should be slightly above the knees to keep the blood flowing through the leg area. While the back of your leg and the edge of the seat would have a little gap for comfort. This would ensure there is no tension in the muscles that would cause a sprain or any ache and pain in this area. 

Your feet must fall flat on the floor and not tensed or curled up. If it is, unclench that muscle and slowly relax it. For your hands and arms, it should be in a correct angle for working and not forced towards anything that might cause discomfort. 

There are ergonomic chairs that can help fix a bad posture, slouching, or perching. For example, there would be lumbar support for the lower part of the spine. If not, others put a rolled towel so that there is ample support for the back especially those who have scoliosis.

Some office chairs are also adjustable. If you can tilt the back seat forward between five to fifteen degrees. If you do this, you automatically set it in a way that hips are slightly higher than your knees. This would reinforce a more upright position of the body and good posture. 

At FlexiSpot, you can choose an appropriate chair that would help you correct your sitting position and overall body posture. The Adjustable Ergonomic Office Executive Chair LYL is just one of those. It can carry a weight of up to 275 lbs. 

It has a backrest that is designed to fit and conform to your body for a more comfortable sitting position. The backrest is also adjustable and reclining so you can prevent tension on that part of your body while you are tackling work for the day. It has a well-designed and curved padded armrest to support your arms and prevent repetitive strains. 

 The reinforced steel base will make sure that it supports your weight and the materials are chosen with longevity of use in mind. The backrest is made of mesh so you can prevent prickly heat on the back if it is hot or during times that you are perspiring. 

The back can also tilt up to 110 degrees if you are aiming for the recommended adjustment for posture in this article. The waterfall-like design of the edge of the chair's seat is also designed to keep your blood flowing on your lower legs. With this, you can lessen the chance of your legs going numb or having varicose veins. Try to check on this product on the company’s website to learn more.