Prolonged sitting is a common cause of back and neck pain. In today’s society long periods of sitting are best avoided, for many, it's a fact of life.
When sitting, there are a few positions to keep in mind first keep your back straight, knees bent, and head centered over the shoulders. Slouching forward may be comfortable and it might even feel good but this will cause the spinal muscles to gradually overstretches spinal ligaments, leading to back and neck pain among other problems. We always encourage patients to maintain a "neutral spine" position at all time is ideal.
Seat Backrest: The proper chair has a backrest which slightly inclines backwards. This will cause a relaxing effect to the spinal musculature and therefore decrease the spinal disc pressure.
Armrests: Armrests used to support the arms which helps to reduce the work load and stress on the upper back and shoulder muscles. The armrest height is when the forearms rest comfortably while being low enough to go underneath tables or desks in the work area.
Lumbar Support: lumbar support that is built into the chair or inserted(you put it in) a portable lumbar support helps you maintain your natural lower back curve. These small supports are very effective and relatively inexpensive.
Seat Bottom Angle: The seat angle to the floor is a personal preference, it is not an exact science, as long as a neutral spine can be maintained in comfort. In general, the more the seat bottom tilts forward the more extension of your lower back will occur to keep you in a neutral position.
Seat Height: The height of the seat should be so that it allows you to sit all the way back in the seat while your feet are still able to reach the floor
Also it's important to:
- Be aware of your posture throughout the day
- Maintain a neutral spine -no slouching
- Take mini breaks on a regular basis when in a prolonged position
- Remember to stretch
Have the right equipment and tools for working in a prolonged position, use ergonomically designed furniture and keep a lumbar support in your car for any prolonged trips
If you have specific questions please feel free to contact the Dr. Michael Chillemi at The Chiropractic & Physical Therapy Center of New jersey 544 Washington Avenue, Belleville, NJ, 07109 Office (973) 759-3020