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Sitting Series: Where to Sit

Updated: Apr 15, 2020

Is your home office your couch? Let's find something better. As you find yourself working from home these days you may be searching for the right place to set up your home office (aka laptop). Maybe you have a designated office in your home with an expensive ergonomic chair adjusted to the correct height to correspond to your desk. Or…perhaps you are lounging on your couch with your feet up on the coffee table. If you are of the latter…let’s take a walk around your home and find a better option.

It’s all about matching the correct chair with the correct height work surface. Ideally you would like to find a chair that allows your knees to be just slightly lower than your hips. A firmer surface or cushion is preferable to a softer one. Your feet should be able to rest solidly on the floor or a footstool.

Next you need to pair this chair with a work surface (table) that allows your hands to rest on the keyboard with relaxed shoulders and elbows bent 90 degrees. If your table is too high then your shoulders will not be relaxed and you will hold tension in your neck and shoulders.

Finding the chair and table that meet those criteria will be a vast improvement over the couch. If you are using some sort of device with a separate keyboard, even better!. Keep the keyboard at the height of your elbows and raise your screen up to eye level when your chin is held parallel to the table. This will allow your neck to be relaxed.

Let’s recap:

  1. Sit with knees slightly lower than hips.

  2. Feet flat on the floor, foot stool or chair rung.

  3. Keyboard at elbow height

  4. Screen at eye level when your chin is parallel to the table

Even if you find the perfect home office set up do not sit there for more than 45 minutes to an hour at a time. Move about your house between calls and tasks. Get a drink of water, stretch those legs or lay down on your back for a few minutes. Any position you hold for too long will cause tension to build up in your muscles. One move I love for alleviating the back after too much sitting is to lie down on the floor on your back with knees bent and feet flat and hip distance apart on the floor. Windshield wiper your knees back and forth slowly. Hang out here for a few minutes. This allows your vertebral discs to plump back up with fluid.

Now get back to work!

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