I know we’ve talked about this before, but it bears repeating. In years past when good ergonomic positioning was taught it was taught that a person’s hips, knees and ankles should all be at 90 degree angles. This was thought to be good positioning, so a good ergonomic chair was one that put you in that position. Therefore, a good ergonomic chair would help keep you from having back pain.
Let’s talk about sitting for a moment. Sitting is the position that puts the most pressure in the discs of your low back. It can also cause changes in the muscles, ligaments and tendons in your low back. Back pain sometimes seems to come out of no where, but often it’s an accumulation of the microtraumas from sitting for long periods even in an ‘ergonomic’ position. In fact, a person should not sit in that ‘ergonomic’ position for more than 10 minutes. In addition to all the pressure and long term affects it can have, there are other health issues, see the blog “The Sitting Disease”.
Recently, I wrote about what kind of chair is ‘best’. There are things to look for in a chair, but the best true ergonomic chair is the one that allows easy posture changes at a variety of joint angles. The most important recommendation is to continually change the settings on the chair. Lean back in the chair with your feet on the floor. Put your feet up on the desk and your keyboard in your lap. Sit cross-legged in your chair. Cross your legs one way, then the other way. Only stay in any one position for 20 minutes. Ideally, you want to stand up and stretch your arms over your head. I created Descaid to remind people to do things like switching positions. It can give you a subtle reminder every 20, 30 or 40 minutes or you can do it every time the phone rings. This movement varies the load on the internal tissues in your back to help keep your back healthy and strong. Ideally, you want to start this before you ever feel pain to help prevent it, so even if you don’t have pain, you need to be changing your position. Just because you don’t feel it doesn’t mean the pressure isn’t there and taking it’s toll.
Make sure your chair fits your body and makes it easy for you to move and change positions.
Dr. Stuart McGill is considered the lead researcher of low back issues. He has a lot of great info out there is you are looking for more.
Thanks everyone for taking part in the great sale for Descaid! I hope you enjoy it!
It teaches some basic movements, stretches, exercises to do while you are working on the computer and reminds you to do them. You can also do what others have done and use it to remind you of the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes look up for 20 seconds at something 20 feet away to help relieve eye strain. I know someone else who is retired and does a yoga stretch when her reminder goes off. Others use it to stretch their wrists and forearms to help prevent carpal tunnel.
It’s so easy to get focused on the computer and let hours go by without moving or looking away. I know we are all busy, we have full lives. Not many people have extra time to add more things into their day. That’s the beauty of Descaid. You do it while you work!
If you haven’t tried it out, I hope you will soon and share it with others!
Also, if you haven’t been following, Monday – Friday there is a post on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. It’s a quick little bit of info to help you take care of this one and only body of yours!
Staring at a computer for hours can cause eye strain. If you are getting headaches, eye strain may be the cause. Be sure and start with an eye exam. There are things you can do to help prevent eye strain too!
One thing to do is minimize glare whether it’s from outside or lighting inside. Use curtains, an anti-glare screen on your monitor, move lighting and you can adjust the brightness on your computer. Also, don’t put your computer directly in front of a window or have a light.
One easy thing you can do is adjust the size of the print. That can make it much easier to read and only takes a few seconds to adjust!
Another great thing you can do is look up at something farther away for a few seconds. It uses the eye muscles in a different way and helps relax some of the strain. I often look out the window or even just across the room. Ideally, you want to do this every 20 minutes. Remember the moving around and switching positions we have talked about in previous blogs? That is ideally done every 20 minutes too, so while you are doing that look at something in the distance for a few seconds.
There are also some exercises you can do. I will add those to Facebook and Twitter this week, so keep those eyes out for more help while you are taking care of them!
Remember too, that Friday the 11th Descaid will be only $11 for everyone! Just use the coupon code “11onMay11″.
Someone asked me today, what is the best chair for working at a desk? There isn’t one perfect chair for everyone. First of all, I would sit in different chairs and find out which one feels the most comfortable. It’s important to have good lumbar (low back) support for the natural curve we have in our lumbars. Also, one’s feet should be able to rest flat on the floor. Good cushioning is something else at which to look. As I’ve said before though, the most important thing about sitting is not to sit for long periods of time. If you’ve been following my Facebook posts and the blog here, you know I talk a lot about moving (stand up, scoot forward, scoot back, put your feet up, put them down, use the footrest from our products to help with different positions, whatever it takes). Moving every 20 minutes is far more important than a $1,000 chair. Of course, comfort in a chair is important. As I said, try out different chairs, see what works for you. I bought a $500 chair for my assistant. I loved it! She didn’t. She liked a $150 chair from an office supply store. She actually rotates between her chair and a rolling stool that she puts an air disc on.
Keep in mind, cushion and comfort, low back support and feet able to rest flat on the floor while sitting back in the chair. Beyond that, it’s about movement. I heard someone say recently that sitting is the new smoking. I talk a lot about sitting in relation to back pain, but it also increases heart disease and many other life threatening illnesses.
Standing to work is another option and a topic for another day!
Stay tuned to for a super opportunity for you and your family, friends and co-workers!
In the mean time remember to MOVE! Sitting for long periods makes your muscles tight and stiff and can contribute to many illnesses including heart disease. It’s easier to prevent than to get rid of health problems.
Thanks for reading!
Winter is setting in and the holidays with all of the holiday food are here. It can make it more difficult to take very good care of your body this time of year. DESCAID is a great way to be reminded to take care of your body in easy ways that don’t take extra time out of your day. There are other things you can do too. Make a commitment to yourself to drink more water. Carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go just like you do your cell phone. When you leave the house think ‘cell phone, keys and water’. Water is great for your body in many, many ways and can help you eat a little less. Which wouldn’t hurt most of us this time of year. I’ve said it before and you know at this point I’ll say it again, move. Stand up at your desk when the phone rings. At home leave your cell phone in the next room, so you have to get up and get it. After dinner get up and help clean up the dinner dishes (if you don’t already). If you have a dog, bundle up and go for a walk. Those are just a few little things you can incorporate this time of year and all year long.
Hopefully, you can come up with some easy little things with a little thought. It’s a great gift you can give to yourself!
DESCAID would also make a great gift for you and those you care about!
Keep your eyes out for more ideas!
“I have fewer headaches and less neck pain.” Jennifer – Development Manager
“I highly recommend this innovative and helpful service for busy professionals or those otherwise attached to computers for hours on end. And as a new mommy of twins, it’s so easy to neglect myself and my health while I focus my attention elsewhere…and that’s where DESCAID keeps me in line and reminds me to focus on me every now and then. I’m a HUGE fan. Try it- you’ll LOVE it! Deb – Sprint
“It’s great that something that takes so little effort can have such major results!” Kathleen – Office Manager
“It is really nice to have this reminder in the midst of a busy workday.” Amy – HR Manager
“It helps relieve the poor posture I get at the computer as well as the tight muscles.” Lee – Domestic engineer
“Oh, my. Finally downloaded DESCAID to my laptop. Amazing! I work on my computer a lot and this program totally helps fight body and eye fatigue by reminding me to take care of myself with simple, quick exercises. I highly recommend DESCAID to anyone who sits in front of a computer as a part of their day. Thanks, Dr. Betsy!” Kathleen L.
There are lots of great ergonomic chairs out there and most people know that sitting with hips, knees and ankles at 90 degree angles is beneficial. However, sitting that way is beneficial if all you are doing is sitting for 5 or 10 minutes. Who sits for only 5 or 10 minutes? What’s more important than sitting in that position is changing positions. Sitting is actually very hard on our low backs. It puts a great deal of pressure on the discs in our low backs and our muscles can get tight and stiff and even lose muscle tone. With the Sitting Disease and the pressure caused in our low backs we have to move for our health! Ideally, change positions every 20 minutes. Stand up, scoot forward, scoot backward, sit with your feet up on your desk (only if it’s appropriate), cross your legs in your chair, just move.
Our website features an air disk that helps you move while you sit, as well as exercise balls. The DESCAID software program actually reminds you to move. You can set the reminder for 20, 30 or 40 minute intervals. It’s a great way to help prevent some of the effects of long term sitting. It’s also got an acronym “CAID” to help you remember the stretches and movements taught in the video.
Let’s make CAID a verb and improve our health! Share this info with your friends!
Did you CAID today?
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