As society moves towards more sedentary behaviour, with jobs, hobbies and activities generally geared towards sitting down, we're seeing more than more people complain of back issues, back pain and aches in other parts of the body.
Humans weren't designed to sit down, and while our evolution may change that in the future, you can prevent this from occurring by adopting good habits the right equipment. Here are our 5 tips to help you out!
1. Take Breaks
Sounds super simple but you'd be surprised at how little you're taking your breaks when sitting down for work or play. On average, the mind's attention span is twenty minutes before things start to get hazy, so it's always recommended to take a five minute break to split up your time.
Don't spend that time browsing the internet or looking at your phone or lounge, make the most of those five minutes by standing up and going somewhere or do something physical.
This can be a variety of things. Go re-fill your water bottle, complete a series of static stretches, or even heading over to have a chat with a housemate or fellow staff, get that blood circulating and most importantly allow your body to elongate itself before heading back to sitting.
2. Use Appropriate Lumbar Support
The lumbar is the lower back location just above your buttocks. Naturally it curves back in from the top down, and contrary to what you would assume, the muscles are still necessary in order to keep your posture upright when sitting down.
What this causes is stress to be placed on your muscles, joints and tissue and in time the fatigue is what causes damage and and back pain. Getting the appropriate lumbar support, such as our specifically-curved lumbar pillows that come with every seat, will allow your lower back to rest and exert less force to maintain that position and posture.
Less stress, less pain, more happy sitting!
3. Make the Right Set Up Adjustments!
No person is created the same, which makes it essential that your set up is customised to suit YOU, and not some generic user because one size definitely does not fit all.
We've covered the principles in a previous blog, make sure that your screen display is at eye level, you're tilting your head up or down and only using eye movement to see what's on show.
Your elbows should rest at 90 degrees for writing or typing, and both feet ideally are flat on the floor.
What can assist you is equipment to guide you in this direction and make things easy. Our gaming tables are ergonomically designed with a 5 degree incline on the table top, which eases pressure and weight for prolonged use, while all chairs feature multiple adjustment options.
Not to mention, your preferences may change over the course of an evening, let alone over months and years. Get the right gear, and find your idea!
4. Stand Sometimes!
Seems like an obvious solution, but the growth in standing desks isn't a gimmick. Literally prevent the issue from occurring by alternating between seating and standing throughout the course of the day and week. It doesn't have to be prolonged periods of time, say thirty minutes to an hour a couple times a day is all you need for your body to readjust and set itself straight again before you're seating again.
It's a product we're looking to bring in soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that BRAND NEW!
5. Stay Active and Get Strong
This perhaps isn't directly related to the immediate action of sitting down, but the rest of your lifestyle plays a part in ensuring your health!
If you are sitting for long periods throughout the day, it's not just bad for your joints, muscles and tendons, but your health takes a big hit. Unfortunately today, so many humans have a day that includes:
- Sitting while commuting to work;
- Sitting at a desk during work hours;
- Sitting while commuting home from work;
- Sitting while relaxing;
- Sitting or lying down while watching/playing entertainment.
The frequency of sitting MUST be partnered with activities that push your body to maintain its health and good habits.
Walk to places if possible, or use a bike/scooter to get around. Sign up to a physical activity, it can be the gym, recreational sports or martial arts. Use your step counter on your phone and strive for 10 000 each day.
These little things, if you do them often add up and help you balance out the times that you are sitting. We're already so out of sync with what our bodies have been doing these past thousands of years, we need to find a way to adapt!
Sitting is the easy thing to do these days, so much of our lives incorporate it! We need to stay alert of the problems it can cause long term, get the right equipment to combat and adopt the appropriate lifestyles to minimise the damage!