I remember going to the retirement party for a journalist friend of mine’s father, Jack. He was our inspiration when we were younger and probably in part responsible for many of us becoming writers. It was a lovely event. Everyone loved Jack. He was an old school “hack” with an encyclopaedic knowledge about anything to do with sports, which was his speciality, added to which he was hilariously funny. The inside scoops, which could never see the light of day for legal reasons, then had us captivated or in stitches over many a family dinner gathering.
The reason why I remember his retirement party so well was because his speech had tears rolling down my face. As he passed the mantle to the incoming Sports Editor, he said “bring your own chair, I’ve been badgering the paper for 45 years to get me a more comfortable one!” Although it caused much hilarity at the time, it is a sad indictment of the corporate culture of the newspaper. They were more than willing to send him from the UK to Australia, business class, than to spend a few hundred pounds on a chair which would not give him back ache – a condition that plagued him for decades. I remember the paper sending him off for private physiotherapy sessions to help alleviate the problem, rather than fix the actual cause.
According to the NHS, “back pain is the leading cause of long-term sickness in the UK, responsible for more than 15 million lost work days in 2013” – click here for more information.
Most of us spend over 2,000 hours a year sitting at our desks at work. Sadly most companies will invest more on the company coffee machine than on the chairs, which they purchase for aesthetic appeal rather than for their ergonomic credentials. Sitting for long periods in front of a computer is storing up trouble. Health experts recommend breaking up sedentary time every 30 minutes for at least one to two minutes. For more details visit http://www.posturite.co.uk/ for great advice, help and state of the art equipment!
There are a number of factors which could help reduce back problems, they include:
- seating posture and chair height
- computer screen position
- keyboard and mouse position
- desk equipment layout
In summary; always sit back and move your chair close to the desk to maintain contact between your back and the seat back to help support and maintain the inward curve of the lumbar spine. Keep your feet flat on the floor, or tucked under your seat to correct the curve of the spine so you are actually sitting on your tail.
I always find this amusing; but there is actually a correct way to slouch too. Now I have no idea which bunch of buffoons came up with the correct slouching position, but believe me, it is extremely uncomfortable and not a way any normal person would slouch. It is basically the way someone “slouches” in a job interview situation, trying to look relaxed and confident, but dynamic and on the ball at the same time.
Finally, I do love the idea of ball chairs. I am sure this works for some people, however I tried this once, with my exercise ball and it does work but I was so distracted, bouncing up and down all day long that what I actually produced was disjointed rubbish.