Discovering the Healthiest Posture
Did you know that almost 90% of Americans want to continue to work remotely if their job offers it? On average, Americans are sitting around 15 hours per day.
What is the best or healthiest posture to have while working at the office? There are many health risks associated with sedentary behavior. However, that office work isn’t going to go away any time soon. So, how can we best combat the detrimental effects of sitting? Is kneeling better than sitting?
What Is the Best Posture at Work?
Work is usually where the majority of Americans have extended amounts of time in sitting. There are a few options to work at: standing, sitting at 90 degrees, sit-stand chairs, and kneeling chairs, to name a few. How do you know that you are creating negative consequences for your body with how you’re working?
There can be benefits of sitting and good posture while even working. Active sitting helps to encourage the healthiest posture through spine alignment, core engagement, and improved blood circulation. This also decreases the risks of weight gain and other comorbidities from sedentary behavior.
Having a good posture puts your body in a position that places the pelvis slightly forward, evenly distributes your weight, and uses your abdominal and back muscles. This will ultimately help reduce back pain.
What’s the Best Chair?
You’ve now heard about the benefits of active sitting and what good posture looks like. Now, what should you transition to at work?
Standing desks have become very popular in recent years. Many people have started to use them, but standing for long periods can be tiring and not conventional for everyone’s case, especially for first starting out.
Did you know that up to 80% of Americans will have to manage back pain at one point in their life? Poor posture is one of the leading causes of chronic back pain.
While kneeling chairs have shown significant benefits to reducing the risk of long-term and negative effects of sitting for extended periods. Kneeling chairs also help to improve the strength in your neck/back, improve your blood circulation, reduce chronic pain in the arms/hands, and promote deeper breathing.
Arguably, the kneeling chair could be factored in as the healthiest posture for working. You have the option with these chairs to kneel with both legs, one leg or transition to a sitting position to take a break. These chairs help position the body in an optimal alignment. This reduces back and neck pain and allows for the benefits of active sitting to take place.
Sit-Stand Stools and Tilting Chairs
Sit-stand stools and tilting chairs offer a variation of active sitting. This helps facilitate active movement through core engagement or forward rocking. Both options are slim designs and designed for movement, functionality, and to reduce back pain.
Sit-stand stools also help work towards more standing and weight-bearing benefits if you have a goal to stand more at your desk. This chair looks like a stool but comes with much more benefits than your standard stool. The cushions’ contour and adjustability of height create a unique dynamic to reduce back pain when sitting and encouraging standing.
What Are the Benefits of Sitting?
You’ve heard a little bit about the different types of chairs you can now adopt in the office, but is there any benefit to sitting?
Surprisingly, there can be some benefit to sitting. A study examined a remote group in Tanzania who spent a significant amount of time resting. They didn’t appear to suffer from the same chronic illnesses that plague Americans. The largest difference that the study found is that these people were resting in a squatting position.
When this group activated their leg and core muscles in the squatting position, they were burning more calories and using more muscles.
Unless you are a baseball or softball catcher, you’re probably not used to squatting for extended periods. Along those lines, using a kneeling chair also benefits increased movement and higher calorie expenditure than passive sitting.
Find What Works for You
The most comfortable posture for you might be different than your coworker. The healthiest postures for working have already been mentioned, but you need to find the position that works for you.
Kneeling chairs might not work for you. They can create limitations in the range of motion. If you have prior knee and hip issues, you must find a chair that allows for movement or transition from double kneeling to single kneeling.
Initially, kneeling chairs might be fairly difficult if you are not used to using certain muscle groups. It might take longer to like a certain chair versus another, depending on how your body responds.
Lastly, these chairs can create more issues for your lower legs, such as increased pressure and tenderness at your shins. If you have a prior history of knee replacements, neuropathy, or other lower limb issues, then this stool might not be the most optimal design.
Sit-stand and tilt chairs offer a great replacement if the kneeling chair isn’t a fit for you. They both provide the comfortability of sitting while promoting improved alignment and functionality to move. It’s more about creating a space where you can be active, move, and reduce pressure points that put you at an increased risk of developing long-term issues.
Movement is Key
Humans weren’t meant to stay in one position for hours on end. In general, movement helps to improve blood circulation, allows fluid motions of joints and muscles, and provides positive heart and lung benefits.
Finding a chair or stool that is comfortable for you and offers the benefit of movement can be challenging at first. Increasing muscle activation will allow you to be more active, even while sitting. The healthiest posture for you doesn’t have to be something you grit your teeth and bear it. The best posture is one that is also comfortable and functional.
You can provide your office and body a much-needed makeover by switching out that cumbersome office chair for something that will make a life-changing difference.