Following up on a post from a couple of days ago where I talked about the placement of the pelvis when it comes to sitting at a computer, I wanted to touch on a couple of other important variables when it comes to sitting.
Having a good chair is key. It doesn’t have to be an expensive chair but it needs to fit you correctly and needs to be kept at the right height. What is the right height for sitting at a computer? Your feet should be able to be flat on the floor. You want to keep them flat on the floor and not crossing one leg over the other— as I am doing as I type. I always cross the same leg, keeping my right ankle over the left knee. This is bad because my right psoas is my tight psoas, so crossing it just accommodates the tightness in a way that isn’t beneficial to my general health.
The height of the chair should be such that your eyes are level with the upper third of your monitor. You want to look straight ahead without having to tilt your eyes up or down. The head and eye sockets would like to be parallel to the desk, assuming that it is level.
In order to sit correctly at a computer you need to always be aware of where your head is in relation to your spine. It is very easy over time for your head to drift forward towards the monitor as if it was calling to you, “come closer, come closer.” Keep your head back in line with the rest of your trunk and you will feel much better at the end of the day.
Finally be aware of how long you are sitting at a stretch. I am not someone who spends the entire day at my computer so I can get away with my less than stellar computer posture. I know my time is limited so I don’t worry too much. If you are someone who spends 12-16 hours a day in front of screens you need coping tools to keep your body healthy. Set a timer for regular intervals in order to get up and walk around. If you are someone who gets into “the zone” in order to work and might be sitting for five or six hours at a stretch unaware of the ticking clock, it would really help to have a number of stretches to do when you finally do get up.
Sitting at a computer is exercise. It might not be great exercise but it is exercise. A lot of muscles are working while you work and they will easily lead to many imbalances that can haunt us throughout the day and throughout your life. Be aware that everything you do with your body has consequences and simply start paying more attention to how you hold yourself in space no matter what you are doing.