If you sit on the edge of your chair without leaning your spine against the back of the chair, raise your hand. Good for you! Posture is one of the most important exercises you can do, and if you as a writer spend uncounted hours sitting at a computer, then knowing how to sit correctly is vital.
Back in my working days in an office, I was trained as an ergonomic evaluator. When I had the time, I evaluated a person and their work space. Chairs, keyboards, mouse devices, pens, headphones, telephones, and where manuals were kept all came under my scrutiny. I learned how to tell if a chair fit a person properly, if the person needed a foot rest to be comfortable, and if the back support worked for them.
Then I retired and started exercising. Not only did I learn how important posture is while walking and doing strength training, I learned that leaning back in a chair is deadly. It’s the reason some health care individuals are calling sitting the new smoking. Sitting isn’t really that bad for you, but slouching and being inactive are both killers.
During my daily walks, I have no problem checking my posture. Shoulders back, spine straight, butt tucked in, stomach – let’s just skip that for now. Someday I will be able to hold it in. Head up, eyes scanning from left to right, then up and down, then try not to trip over the dog who came to a complete stop in front of me.
While driving, I forget all of that. I sit way back in the seat, lean against the back, slump my shoulders, and so on. My next challenge will be to find ways to use better posture in the car. I will no doubt find that it’s very similar to sitting in a chair, but not exactly.
In front of my computer, I do well. I sit on the edge of the chair while I type. I keep my head up, shoulders back, and tuck what can be tucked. And recently I did something that has made it much easier to stay upright.
I had the worst habit of leaning on my arm rests on the chair. I could not go for very long without doing the slouch to one side or the other. I nearly crippled my back by doing this. I started remembering to sit up straight, but also realized that if I didn’t have arms on my chair, I couldn’t lean over! So I flipped the chair over, got a Phillips screwdriver, and took the darn things off!
Amazing how much that has helped. I stay upright and don’t lean. I don’t get back aches from marathon writing sessions, and I feel better when my Garmin VivoFit tells me to get up for a while. Try it, you can always put them back on if don’t think it has helped you. But give it a good try.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.