At one point everybody who sits a lot started asking himself if that is the healthiest posture you can find yourself in. The answer is, as you might suspect, a big no! Sitting is one of the worst things you can actually do to yourself. Homo Sapiens simply isn’t made to sit, so if you’re a part of my species, chances are you aren’t as well. That being said, as science advances a lot of new ways to sit come to us consumers, some of them better than others. This is why today we have some high tech chairs which go to enormous sums to get one, people sitting on pilates balls and people working on a so-called “standing desk” where they, guess what, stand up!
You probably own one. It probably is comfortable and you probably spent a little fortune on it. If you did, great. That is one thing you use to work on. The other is you computer, so take good care of that as well. But back to the chairs.
First of all, make sure it’s cushioned on the whole sitting part. Next, make sure that it is firm and strong standing, not weak. Make sure it can keep your back straight up. And you’ll probably want one with wheels so you can make some breaks from work every now and then. Why would I even talk about chairs anymore? You all probably know what’s best as this is something you used your entire life, right? You probably have some experience… So let me talk about our next topic and why is it such a big topic.
There are more and more people sitting on pilates balls everywhere in the world. It is especially popular with programmers and developers who work at home, but it is getting its popularity recently even in office environments! If you’ve never seen one I won’t explain what it is here. I’ll just tell you why it’s awesome!
First of all, it’s really fun, right? I mean, you’re sitting on a ball for christ’s sake! And it’s all bouncy so you bounce while you sit and it’s such a great fun, right? Wrong. I mean, it is fun for the first minute or so, but after that it just becomes pain in the backs. I mean literally.
But all that bouncing up and down proves to be a really good thing for your spine. There are a lot of medical research on this topic, but the main conclusion is this: since your constantly moving and you’re basically forced to sit really straight up, your spine gets a lot of pressure (in a good way) and you keep your back muscles engaged. At first you probably won’t be able to sit more than 5 minutes if you’re not in shape, but keep it up the good work. Eventually you’ll be able to sit as long as you want and you’ll do it all the time, thus doing good deeds to your backs!
Hey, don’t get me wrong here now, but standing is the absolute best way to be doing your work at your computer. Yes, at your computer. It sounds strange and trust me, it need getting used to; and we need getting used to all the new habits we develop as well, not just “not sitting”. And standing desks are becoming more and more popular every day.
What is great about this is forces you to be in a very natural position (standing), to hold your spine erect, to move every now and then as well… But it allows you some more flexibility. For example, you can buy a treadmill and walk while running. I have a friend who did that. Or you can buy a stepper and do that… Or anything you get your mind to. Possibilities are endless because, well, you’re standing and doing your work! Once you get to it, you’ll never go back… I mean, almost never. You’ll still need to sit to think when you have a lot of heavy thinking to do, trust me, as standing and doing things is no way to be doing highly creative and demanding work. But we are humans after all, and that highly demanding work is something we can do no more than an hour, maybe an hour and a half each day.
That about sums it up. What are your thoughts on this?
Image credit: John Knox on flickr.com