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If you work in an office based small business then you probably spend more time at your desk than anywhere else. Many of us spend most of our working day in front of a computer, and then drive home to sit down, watching TV or using our own computers. We surveyed 2000 workers and found that nearly half (46%) sit at work for 4-6 hours per day. This time increases to 9 hours per day when you take into account the daily commute, and leisure time.
But have you ever thought about what sitting for long periods is doing to your body?
Taking your time to improve your posture and make sure your work station is correctly set up can help you to avoid pain in your lower back, neck and shoulders, and get more out of your day.
First make a list of the things you do most often at your desk. Then think of ways to make doing them more comfortable. For example, if you do a lot of typing, you might need to use a document holder to read from – it’s much better for your posture than placing paper in front of a keyboard.
Clearing away clutter will give you more space and let you organise the things you need better. Don’t forget to look underneath your desk to make sure there aren’t any loose cables or drawer towers that get in your way or make you sit at an angle.
Make sure you sit as close to your desk as you can with your forearms resting on your desk. Adjust your chair so that your arms are horizontal when you touch the keyboard and your feet are flat on the floor. Keep your elbows by the side of your body so your arms form an L shape.
Most office chairs now have back support built-in but if yours doesn’t, ask whether a replacement is possible or use a lumbar roll at the small of your back. Your back should make a slight ‘S’ shape and be supported in this position by the chair backrest.
Short breaks away from your desk every now and then will not only relieve any fatigue you’re feeling, they’ll also help to prevent stresses building up in your muscles and spine
*2016 Poll of 2,000 people who use a chair during some or most of their working day.
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