10 May Sitting is the New Smoking
If sitting is so bad for us, how can we easily and reasonably incorporate more standing and walking?
For starters, stand at least a little while each day when using a computer. To try it out, stack up books to raise your keyboard and monitor to a comfortable working height. Then consider a standing desk that can be adjusted between sitting and standing.
Keyboard and arm position
– elbows should be bent at about a right angle
– forearms, wrists and hands should form a straight line
– position the keyboard close enough that you don’t have to reach for the keys
– the keyboard should be flat, not tilted
– same arm and wrist position as above, so that the arm moves freely (keyboard and mouse are a little too low in the photo)
– as close to the keyboard as possible
– use the mouse on your non-dominant side (it doesn’t take long to learn)
– top of the screen no higher than eye height
– as far back as you can position it without eye strain
– your head should be balanced over your shoulders (you may want to replace bifocals with reading glasses when viewing the monitor)
– feet about shoulder width apart
– legs straight without locking the knees
– pelvis aligned (butt and gut tucked in)
– shoulders relaxed and upper back straight
– head level, aligned with shoulders and chin tucked in
Notice the good body alignment of the woman in the photo)
You may find that you can’t stand for very long at first, so begin with short periods. It also helps to walk around for a few minutes or sit down for a bit once an hour. Back ache is often due to a poorly aligned pelvis. Over time, you will probably find that your posture muscles grow stronger and your pelvis better aligned, especially if you become more aware of your body and adjust its position frequently. Consider a cushioned standing mat if you find your feet ache.
References: Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety. http://novascotia.ca/lae/healthandsafety/ergonomics/docs/AdjustingComputer.pdf
Geek Desk http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-standing-desk/
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