Posture is important.

I was in a car crash about a month ago. Since then, I’ve had x-rays of my back, neck, and wrist. No broken bones, thank goodness, but I do have pain. After going to the doctor, I’ve been seeing a chiropractor she recommended along with getting once a week massages. So far, things are improving, but I’m not yet back (no pun intended) to how I was before the crash.

Today, my masseuse recommended some stretches I can do along with a general recommendation to be concious of my posture, that posture has a huge impact on back and neck health and pain levels.

She said that most people sit slouched over and with their shoulders ahead of their chest. This puts strain on the muscles in the upper back and the back of the neck while letting the muscles in the upper chest and front of the neck shorten. Over time, this contributes to back and neck issues, or in my case, doesn’t help recovery.

My mission for the next week, till I see her again, is to pay closer attention to my posture (and to do my stretches).

I’ve written about chairs, before, and I’m thinking about them again. We have crap chairs at work. We also have a crap “policy” (in quotes because we don’t have a HR guide or anything, we just have what those with the ability to reimburse my expenses say) about getting good chairs.

But even if I could get an expensive chair, I’m now going to be even more picky about it. Especially in the width of the back of the chair. This caught my attention today, just now. My chair has metal supports running along the rim of the chair-back. They’re hard. My elbows hit them and they prevent my elbows from going to a position that would be comfortable when typing. I don’t like the design of the chair-back. It’s preventing me from keeping my shoulders back the way I want to in order to maintain good posture, or what I feel would be good posture (this is purely subjective and has not been evaluated by any kind of ergonomics professional).

I’ve sat in a Steelcase Leap. It has a similar problem, since in order for it to have the fancy lower back support system, it needs support on the outside rim of the chair-back. So, even the chair I used to think was what I wanted isn’t really any better than my crap chair I have now (in this one way).

But if I (or my employer) is going to drop hundreds or thousands of dollars on a new chair, it had better be exactly what I want.

I still do the “ghetto standing desk” with my HP monitor box on top of my desk. But even when standing, posture is still very important, and I need to keep a better check on myself to make sure I’m not slouching when standing. This is harder than I thought.

I’ve read that putting a 6 inch box on the floor, when standing, so that I can rest one foot on it could be helpful. Alternating feet on the box with both feet on the floor can give a few different poses to keep things interesting and not set in just one standing pose. I’m going to give that a try, I just need to find something sturdy enough to use. Different heights will be worth trying, to find the best one. And I need to keep my neck up and shoulders back.

When standing, the one nice thing is there’s no chair to get in my way. The bad thing is that there’s no chair to support me when I’m tired of standing. Alternating between sitting in a good chair and standing is probably my ideal. I have my eye on a GeekDesk Max.

I wonder if there’s a business in reselling standing desks, like GeekDesks, along with other standing desk accessories… The biggest obstacle to wide market sales is the price, most people are going to balk at a grand for a desk. There’s not much competition in electric standing desks, that could be driving the prices up, but now I’ve digressed…

Posture. It’s important!


20 June 2012