While having an appropriate chair is important when sitting at a computer desk, properly configuring the chair that you have will go a long way toward increased comfort and ease. Sitting at the compter desk for long periods can increase muscle stress and put pressure on the spinal disks. The way you sit at your computer desk chair can make a big difference in combating this stress and strain to the body.
The first step is to be aware of how you sit at your desk for long periods of time. Most people will slouch down into the chair, or they will lean forward onto the desk and hunch their shoulders. This posture can stretch out your spinal ligaments and strain the spine. To alleviate this problem, you should make sure you have adaquate lumbar support from your chair, and align your lower back directly against the chair back. If you are unable to do this comfortably, invest in a lumbar support cushion so your lower back can rest directly onto the cushion. This will help insure that you sit up comfortably and don’t slouch.
When setting up your workstation, the most important measurement will be the desired height of your computer desk. Once you have your desk configured properly, you then can adjust the computer desk chair to the height of your workstation. For example, your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle when you place your hands on your desk. If they are not, adjust your chair up or down until your elbows are the right angle. You also want to make sure you are allowing your gaze to easily fall into the middle of the computer screen. You may be unconsciously straining your neck if your gaze falls to high or to low.
By taking these initial steps, you should be able to allievate much of the pain or stiffness you may be experiencing. If you are still encountering pain, you may also want to investigate alternatives to the traditional computer desk chair. By placing your body in a different type of posture altogether, you may be able to reduce the strain that comes from sitting in a static position for long periods of time. Popular alternatives are sitting on an exercise ball, or dynamic stool, which forces you to use your abdominal muscles for support and helps reduce muscle fatigue.
Just because you sit at a desk for much of the day, don’t resign yourself to pain and muscle soreness. Starting with a variety of small adjustments, there is much you can do to position a more comfortable computer desk chair. By making some of the changes outline here, you should see an increase in energy, and a reduction in workplace fatigue.