Expert Advice

Is it possible to sit more ergonomically at work?

Is it possible to sit more ergonomically at work?
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Yes. And, as the tips below suggest, it isn't always necessary to purchase special equipment. It’s more important to be mindful of your body’s alignment and to take breaks when you feel muscle tension.

►RAISE THE SEAT OF YOUR CHAIR. Your hips should be at least an inch higher than your knees. Settle your weight onto your thighs rather than your buttocks—this establishes a gentle curve in your lower back that lifts your chest, making it easier to breathe.

►LOOK AWAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER. If you stare at your computer screen all day, your body becomes compact and tense. Expand your posture by pausing every 15 minutes to focus on something in the distance.

►BREATHE DEEPLY. Breathe slowly and steadily from your lower rib cage to lift your torso and massage your spine. (Shallow breathing exacerbates tightness in the chest, shoulders, and neck.)

►LIGHTEN UP.
Hold your computer mouse gently and type lightly to avoid tensing your hands, arms, shoulders, neck, and jaw.
—Mary Bond, faculty member of The Rolf Institute in Boulder, Colo., and author of The New Rules of Posture (Healing Arts Press, 2006)