I am constantly surprised at the lack of standardisation of evidence based ergonomic advice across the public service and private sectors.
As a city CBD physio for the past few years I see many people presenting with work related issues.
Most of the time just by looking at them I can tell how they sit at their desks.
When I ask them how they think they should be sitting the vast majority say “with a straight back”.
Where is this misinformation coming from? – often office guidelines.
Consequences of sitting with a straight back:
- Gravity pushes downwards on the body forcing it to slump
- The thoracic and lumbar spine curves forward causing the chin to “poke” forwards causing increased compression and shearing loads on the neck and the lower back discs to stretch.
- Alternatively, the muscles of the spine work overtime in an effort to maintain an upright posture – causing what is termed rigidity of the spine – tight, overactive muscles causing increased compression especially of the thoracic spine.
Evidence based correct sitting:
- Back of chair tilted about 10 degrees
- Lumbar support in the lumbar spine – not the pelvis
- Chair close to the desk so that the arms are able to be kept at the side of the body- not reaching forward
- Forearm either horizontal or slightly sloping down so that the neck muscles don’t tighten up
- Feet resting on a stool or floor depending on height of person and comfort
Think Gold Class at the movies or a lazyboy chair.
Corrections should feel comfortable and relaxed.
70 Mary St and 245 Albert St Brisbane 4000