Sitting Properly In The Office

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Sitting Properly In The Office
Sitting Properly In The Office

Video: Sitting Properly In The Office

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Video: The best way to sit at your desk at work 2023, January

Sitting properly at work

Sedentary activities are widespread in professional life, but actually unhealthy. Because our body is not designed to sit for hours, regardless of the position. An upright sitting posture loads the intervertebral discs and muscles evenly, but the muscles will tire over time due to the constant work of holding. Many people then adopt a more comfortable, but also unhealthy sitting posture. When sitting slightly bent forward, which many people find comfortable, the intervertebral discs are more stressed by the curved spine.

Unilateral loads from sitting can lead to tension in the muscles. This can lead to back pain - also in connection with time pressure or other emotional stress. A reclined position would be particularly gentle on the intervertebral discs and muscles, but this is hardly practicable in the office for a long time. Every sitting position has advantages and disadvantages when it comes to putting as little strain on the musculoskeletal system as possible.


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  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • Dynamic sitting is healthy
  • Features of an ergonomic armchair
  • How to sit back-friendly
  • Sitting balls unsuitable for long periods of sitting

Dynamic sitting is healthy

One answer to the question of the correct sitting posture at work is what is known as dynamic sitting. The sitting position can be changed again and again - upright or tilted backwards. The backrest of the chair adapts to the respective position and supports the musculoskeletal system. This support function of the backrest can be individually adapted to the chair. Frequently changing sitting postures improve blood flow to the muscles and the supply of nutrients to the intervertebral discs. Incorrect - i.e. static - sitting, on the other hand, can lead to various complaints, such as circulatory disorders in the legs or tension. A change from sitting to standing, for example at standing desks or height-adjustable desks, brings a healthy change from one-sided sitting postures and prevents back pain.

However: dynamic sitting is not muscle training. Specific strengthening exercises are necessary to counteract muscular weaknesses and complaints. For exercises, see Functional Strength Training.

Tip Short breaks at work with specific exercises help to avoid sitting discomfort. More on this under: Sedentary occupation: Movement required

Features of an ergonomic armchair

An important prerequisite for a healthy posture is an ergonomic armchair. It relieves the muscular holding apparatus and supports the body where constrained postures can cause excessive strain. At the same time, it offers small but important incentives to move, for example with a flexible backrest or a variable seat. Further ergonomic features are an adjustable seat height and adjustable armrests.

How to sit back-friendly

In the upright sitting posture, the spine can assume a natural double S-shape and is most favorably loaded. The pelvis is tilted slightly forward and the back forms a natural hollow back. An ergonomic armchair supports an upright sitting posture.

  • Seat height: The seat is at the right height when the upper and lower arms as well as the upper and lower legs form a 90-degree angle. The feet should be on the floor with the whole soles and the arms should rest loosely on the table. The seat should support about two thirds of the thighs. It is important to avoid circulatory disorders in the legs, which can arise, for example, from severely angled legs or excessively resting thighs. Ergonomics experts therefore recommend office armchairs with a slightly sloping seat.
  • Seat depth: You should sit so far back that your back touches the backrest. The seat is correctly adjusted when there is about a hand's breadth of space between the hollow of the knee and the front edge.
  • Backrest: The back should touch the backrest and be supported over a large area in the lumbar area. The pelvis should be tilted slightly forwards, this supports an upright sitting position.
  • Armrests: When the forearms rest on the armrests, the shoulders are relieved. The forearms should form a right angle with the upper arms. Some armrests can also be turned to the side for easier use of the mouse.

Sitting balls unsuitable for long periods of sitting

Sitting balls require the user to correct the sitting position often by making small compensatory movements. As a result, different muscle groups are used and static sitting postures are avoided. However, due to the lack of back support, the muscles tire quickly. The result: The natural arched back posture turns into an unhealthy round posture, which puts a lot of strain on the intervertebral discs. A sitting ball is therefore not suitable for long periods of sitting. In addition, ergonomic properties such as height adjustability, arm and back supports or the ability to roll are missing.

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