Choose Your Office Chair Wisely.
At Total Health Chiropractic, a question we hear all the time is “What is the best chair for me at work?”
Well, actually there is no perfect chair, and that is simply because there isn’t a chair out there that will prevent the damage that is occurring to our bodies if we are constantly sedentary or not moving.
No one chair fits everyone and you should probably try a few until you find the one that suits you. What I shall do is tell you what I was looking for in a chair and why I chose the one I use.
Because I spend many hours each day sitting at my computer (I am doing just that right now) it matters enormously to me that I have a good chair that supports me and keeps me in good shape or posture.
The main features I was looking for when I chose my chair were the following:
- Seat height – The seat height should be easily adjustable allowing me to have my feet flat on the floor, with thighs horizontal and arms even with the height of the desk. The correct seat height & angle improves blood flow and provides better support.
- Seat width and depth. I wanted a chair that was a good size to provide support and comfort. The depth (from front to back of the seat) needs to be enough so that one can sit with his or her back against the backrest of the chair while leaving approximately 2 to 4 inches between the back of the knees and the seat of the chair.
- Tilting Backrest – The forward or backward tilt of the seat should be infinitely adjustable.
- Neckrest – This should be adjustable by height and depth, providing support for the neck and comfort for the rest of the body.
- Lumbar support – Because I understand the importance of supporting the lumbar spine whilst seated I looked for an adjustable lumbar support mechanism like you may find in a luxury car. This prevents slouching and helps maintain the all-important spinal curves.
- Backrest. I wanted my backrest to be adjustable in height and angle. Again, it should be designed with supporting the natural curves of the spine in mind.
- Seat material. If you are sitting for long hours then the material of your chair seat and back should have enough padding to be comfortable and I prefer cloth fabric that breathes as opposed to a harder surface.
- Armrests – Office chair armrests should be adjustable allowing the user’s arms to rest comfortably and shoulders to be relaxed. Your elbows and lower arms should rest lightly, and the forearm should not be on the armrest while typing.
- Swivel mechanism–any ergonomic chair should easily rotate so the user can reach different areas of his or her desk without straining.
- The tilt mechanism – I need my sitting to be as active and dynamic as possible. To maintain a healthy spine we need to move as much as possible. Dynamic seating means the chair follows your every movement regardless of working position providing complete support, enabling you to always sit correctly and breathe properly. I demanded a chair that is infinitely adjustable, with a smooth action that can be locked in any chosen position.
So which chair do I choose to use?
The chair I chose was the RH Logic 400 and if you would like to try it just ask when you visit the office. If you like it then we can even organize a discount from the suppliers.
Here are 5 tips to help you prevent problems developing associated with sitting.
1. 90 degree rule. Your hips and knees should make 90 degree angles when you are sitting back in your chair. Usually you will have a fixed desk height so you may need to add a block under your feet if you are shorter.
2. Support your arms. Use a chair with adjustable armrests if possible.
3. Make sure your monitor is at eye level. Have a co -worker/spouse look at you from the side and confirm that you are not looking down at your monitor. This will cause undue stress and strain on your neck.
4. Relax your shoulders when you are sitting and remember to breathe! When stress hits, our shoulders become tight and we breathe very shallowly. To reduce the effects of stress on our bodies, we need to be mindful of our breathing at all times.
5. Take breaks every 30 minutes. Look up, grasp your hands together behind your back and pull your shoulder blades together as you stretch on your way to grab more water or to the restroom. Set a timer across the room if you need to so you at least have to get up to reset it.
“The spine is designed to work in a certain way, and have a certain shape. It is designed to move. Respect this or there will be potentially disastrous consequences later on.”
– Dr Tim
“USE IT OR LOSE IT!”
To learn more about Dr Tim’s office chair – Click Here