Sunday, July 13, 2008

The right way to sit

More on posture and seating ergonomics ...

"Are you among those who spend most of their time sitting at their office desk and end up having a back pain? Studies show that eight out of every 10 adults who spend more time sitting suffer from some form or backache.

Working for more than 8-10 hrs before a computer has depleted both the mental and physical condition of people. Backache has emerged as one of the lifestyle problems especially for those working in a 24x7 work environment like call centres and BPOs.
Exact reason

According to a survey by the NGO Health India, 51 per cent of people in Delhi suffer from back pain; in Mumbai, it is 56 per cent. Surprisingly many don’t know the exact reason and often blame sagging mattress or potholed roads.

A faulty sitting posture is one of the leading causes of back pain among white collared workers. One should take precautionary measures as soon as the initial problem begins. Identify the offending postures and correct it immediately. Apply a hot water bottle or gently massage the affected area with a pain reliever. But if the pain persists for more than two weeks or if associated with fever, leg pain or weakness consult a doctor immediately.

Usually, people are ignorant about their sitting style, as most of them are unaware of the correct sitting posture and behaviour.

“It’s been more than four months when the awful spasms first started and now it has become a normal routine. I sit for almost 10 hours on chair at the computer in a day but am not very sure as to what is the right sitting posture,” rues Neelima Choudhary, 24 years, an employee of Heal India.

Research shows that apart from obesity, Office Ergonomics is a leading factor that contributes to backache. Normally, bright lighting or sources that cause a glare on your monitor may force you to work in awkward postures to have a better view of the screen. Follow the ergonomic seating tips and ensure that you remain free from back pain.

The writer is a Delhi-based orthopaedician.
Tips to avoid backache

Always maintain good sitting posture

If pain occurs, apply some pain balm like Iodex instead of relying on drug management initailly.

Do not sit continuously for a long duration at a stretch. Stand up, stretch your back muscles, and stroll around for a few minutes.

Do small jobs like fetching a glass of water or files

Avoid extensive, continuous traveling. Take short breaks

Avoid high heeled shoes

Choose your chair according to

your height and comfort.

See your doctor if pain persists for more than two weeks.
Ergonomic seating

Ensure that your hands, wrists, and forearms are in a row, almost parallel to the floor.

Ensure that your head and torso are in-line with head slightly bent forward, facing the front and balanced.

Ensure that your shoulders are at ease with upper arms hanging normally at the sides.

Ensure that your elbows are close to your body and bent between 90 and 110 degrees.

The feet should be either supported by a footrest or relaxing on the floor.

Ensure that your knees and hips are in almost the same height with your feet slightly forward."    (Continued via The Hindu, Yash Gulati)    [Ergonomics Resources]

Sit Upright - Ergonomics

Sit Upright

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