Over the years chair design has been through many developments. The act of sitting on specifically designed chairs was first recorded in ancient Egypt. At this time seat design helped maintain an upright posture to convey power and meet work requirements. The Greeks wished to convey a relaxed posture as this was thought to convey status and seat design reflected this. In the English Victorian era, etiquette and self-discipline became important and seating took on a static right angle aesthetic to promote an erect posture. In the 1950s a relaxed, round backed posture was once again in vogue as it was thought to present self-confidence, and again seating was designed to reflect this.
After reviewing the current research it is suggested that a healthy sitting posture is predominantly upright, incorporating frequent movements and breaks. Numerous studies suggest that sustained sitting in any one position may produce potentially negative effects on spinal health, so breaks every 30 minutes are important.
A healthy sitting posture occurs when the body weight is evenly distributed on the seat, not twisted causing the least amount of musculoskeletal overstrain.
A chair should be of sufficient height to allow both feet to be placed on the floor (or footrest) to help alleviate pressure on the spine. Backrests and armrests can also relieve spinal pressure but they should not be used continuously.
A desk and computer screen should be at a height, which allows the body to maintain its upright neutral positioning.
The computer mouse should be sufficiently close to prevent overreaching forwards.
Our Auckland Osteopaths are located at Wellwest, 31 Lincoln Road in Henderson, Waitakere, West Auckland. Call 838 0631