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Adjusting Your Chair Can Restore Lost Energy!

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Most computer users suffer from aches and pain on a regular basis. Sitting in one position all day, whether reading or working on a computer, puts pressure on your entire body. If this pressure is coupled with poor posture, it will quickly convert into pain and will drain you of precious energy. The goal while sitting should be to maintain a natural posture to lower the wear and tear on your muscles. Your chair is the most important tool you have to help correct your posture and increase your productivity. A good, ergonomic chair that is properly adjusted will provide comfort all day, restore wasted energy, and actually encourage you to maintain good posture while sitting.

Ergonomic chairHere are some tips to help personalize your chair adjustment to best fit you:

  1. Seat Pan: The seat pan is the part of the chair on which you sit. The pan of your chair should be wide enough for a comfortable fit, with at least an inch to spare. Your weight should feel evenly distributed across the pan or you will begin to feel pressure points after a few minutes. Your chair should still feel comfortable to you even after sitting for a few hours. Also confirm that the seat depth is correct for your height and does not catch the back of your knees. If this initial test reveals any problems, you should strongly consider finding a better, ergonomic chair that is the right size for you.
  2. Chair Height: Adjust you chair height so that your feet rest firmly on the floor. You can use a foot rest to provide additional height if necessary. If you are looking for a new chair, try to find one that you can adjust while you are seated; this will provide the fastest, most accurate adjustment for you.
  3. Back Rest: Some back rests are adjustable, making the chair more flexible, but this feature is not critical. If you are not able to move your back rest, make sure you have a chair that fits your curves. If you have this feature, raise or lower you back rest to find the best fit to the contours of your spine. Remember that the most important aspect of your chair is the lumbar support. If your chair does not properly support your lower back, consider adding a rolled towel or portable lumbar support.
  4. Arm rests: Are you arm rests too high? Your arms should have free movement at the elbow while typing, with your shoulders fully relaxed. If your shoulders are sore, you may have your arm rests too high, causing you to hold your shoulders up, in a shrugged position, for long periods of time. Only use your arm rests for short periods of time to support the elbows and arms while you are not actually typing. The more movement you have in the arm rests, the better posture you can achieve. It can also be helpful to occasionally move them entirely out of the way to decrease pressure on the ulnar nerve in your elbow.

A good, ergonomic chair that fits properly and adjusts to meet your needs can impact your energy, comfort, and productivity each day. Use these tips to carefully evaluate and adjust your office work chair, and add additional lumbar support if needed. If your chair doesn’t actively encourage good posture, consider finding a new chair. Maintaining good posture will benefit you far into the future.