Sitting is an important part of work and our lives. Research had been pointing to how sitting is the "new smoking" and this was taken to an extreme with people starting to stand all day long or working while lying down. TL;DR: don't do either of these. What's important is to have a good balance between sitting or standing, and when you are sitting, make sure you're sitting right.
Here are 4 ways to improve the way you sit, instantly, without buying any special equipment other than the work chair you're sitting in now.
Seat Height and Depth
The first thing you should be doing with your chair is to adjust the seat height. There's usually a paddle to lift up in order to raise or lower your chair. Use this. Adjusting to the right seat height will instantly take pressure off of your bottom and your thighs, improving circulation to your lower body. It's properly set when your thighs are roughly parallel to the floor, and your knees have a rough 90 degree angle to it. You shouldn't feel your circulation cutting off.
Next, turn your focus to the seat depth. Adjusting the seat depth is one of the most ergonomic things you can do for your body, yet the vast majority of people don't touch this adjustment. There's usually a lever or paddle that you can lift in order to slide your seat forward or back to accommodate your unique thigh length. It's adjusted properly when you have 2-3 inches from the back of your knee to the front edge of the seat. Adjusting this takes pressure off of your thighs and helps improve circulation.
Use the backrest of your chair
A lot of people sit on the front edge of the chair. As a result, they slouch, round their backs, and end up feeling pain. Your body isn't designed to hold a posture for a long period of time. That's where the backrest comes into play. Make sure you're sitting all the way to the back of your chair and use the backrest to take pressure off of your lower back / spine.
Back tension and reclining
See the dial underneath your seat, or on the side? This controls how much resistance you feel when you lean back. What you want is for this to be adjusted so that you can lean back easily, but not too easily. Leaning back while working is really important to relieve pressure on your lower back / spine, and it opens up your pelvic region to help with circulation. Think of this as a nice stretch, but you're able to keep it for longer periods of time.
Changing postures (and avoiding bad ones)
Changing postures frequently while working is great for circulation and relieving tension or pressure on your lower back / spine. The most common is changing from upright to reclined postures. Make sure that you avoid the postures that are bad for you, such as sitting sideways in your chair, having one leg tucked underneath your thigh, or having your feet on your seat. Postures like these cuts off circulation and is not healthy for your body.
These 5 tips will instantly make your setup more ergonomic. Remember that sitting all day is just as bad as standing all day - it's important to change from sitting to standing with a height adjustable desk, such as our KD01 desk.
If you're sitting on a dining chair or a sofa for work, it's probably time for you to get yourself an #officebyknead, starting with an ergonomic work chair.