Blog posts of '2016' 'January'

DON'T SIT TOO LONG- Thursday, January 21, 2016


Working conditions in the United States demand less physically of its workers now, than were required of its workers in the past. Most jobs now involve sitting rather than laborious tasks such as lifting, pulling, pushing, etc., yet disability claims for back pain have been increasing. This increase occurs because sitting can be more harmful to your body than physically demanding tasks. There is a definitive correlation between excessive sitting and low back disorders, such as disc herniations, also known as bulging discs. The solution is to avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time. A worker who sits longer than 50 minutes should stand up, take a walk, or stretch, though I recommend he shouldn’t sit longer than 20-30 minutes due to the effects of something called spinal memory, which I will discuss at a later time.     

            This information is particularly useful to any athlete, such as a baseball or basketball player, who sits for 20 minutes or longer before performing. Because sitting places your back in a stressful position, athletes are at a higher risk for injury if they immediately perform their athletic tasks after sitting for 20-30 minutes or longer. If an athlete must sit for an extended period of time before playing, he/she must remember to sit with proper posture, take stretch breaks, or use a lumbar support of some kind.

USE AN ERGONOMIC CHAIR- Thursday, January 7, 2016




                                    FIGURE 1 – BASIC ERGONOMIC CHAIR

The most ideal seated position is one that changes. An ergonomic chair allows you to adopt different seated positions more easily than regular chairs. Be sure the ergonomic chair allows seat adjustments forward, backward, and side-to-side. It needs to have an adjustable seat height and wheels. If it has arms (which is not necessary), be sure the arms are height adjustable. Do not place your shoulders in a shrugged position. It is equally important that the chair allows for a slight recline. In fact, 95-105 degrees is the ideal seat back position, not 90 degrees. The ergonomic chair in FIGURE 1 is a basic ergonomic chair. I featured this chair to show that it is not necessary to spend a fortune on an ergonomic chair to reap its benefits. 

Last month's blog discussed the importance of using a lumbar support. You may use a lumbar support in combination with an ergonomic chair. However, not all ergonomic chairs will require the use of a lumbar support.