ELECTRONICS & Torso/Legs Relationship
When at the computer, the recommendations that were given to drive work as well. The thing is, there are also some differences when it comes to the relationship of your legs to your torso, mainly due to two factors: your seat is quite different and so is your activity.
IMPACT OF YOUR SEAT WHEN @ YOUR COMPUTER
It is a lot easier to have a good appropriate chair to work when working at your computer. The thing is, what makes a good chair and why?
Most people think that an ergonomic chair is the best solution when sitting at a computer for long periods of time. But is it?
The focus of ergonomic furniture for a work environment was the comfort of employees so they would not suffer through work on account of their furniture and therefore, they would be more productive.
And to some of the founders and followers of this movement, supported posture was a key element. It all seems to make perfect sense. The thing is that our understanding of posture and movement is evolving.
It turns out that supporting the bones rather than the muscles makes a big difference. Why?
When your back muscles are supported, especially in the lumbar region, they can relax. The reason your lumbar muscles are uncomfortable in the first place is that you are not letting your postural muscles do the job they were designed to do with ease. Instead, you have been misusing the movement muscles in your back to handle your posture either by holding yourself up or by slouching when tired. As you know by now, this is neither natural nor comfortable for long which is why you go back and forth from attempting to stay upright to surrendering to gravity and slouch. So lumbar support is wonderful, yet it is just a band-aid solution that helps when you do not know any better.
When the skeletal structure is supported around the coccyx without you leaning back, the spine reorganizes itself upright automatically and your postural muscles along the spine are allowed to do their supporting job which makes them stronger and more resilient over time.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SEAT WHEN @ YOUR COMPUTER
Using a simple inexpensive straight wooden chair or stool covered with padding, if necessary, turns out to be the best option when it comes to chairs.
If you need something that goes up and down because of the height of your desk, then use a pianist stool. Old ones are also made of wood. Modern ones can be cushiony but they remain firm enough to be helpful. They sometimes have wheels as well, which is ok in this case. I do not usually recommend a director’s chair with wheels because their sitting surface is not always conducive to integrated sitting so the wheels only enhance the misuse.
Lastly, if you’re the fidgety type, you may want to choose a Fitball to sit on. You want to be sure that it is the right size for your height so when blown up, it is fairly firm with a little give and your hips are higher than your knees.
Also, remember that to assist your torso in being as open as it needs to be, you can, with relaxed arms, rotate your shoulder bones one at a time up, then back, and then let go so your arm can merge with gravity along your body.
In the next parts of this course, we shall address the option of standing at the computer.
YOUR LEGS WHILE @ YOUR COMPUTER
Once you are sitting in an efficient way with your postural muscles along the spine doing their job in a relaxed manner, and your hips are a bit higher than your knees, your legs can do their part effortlessly.
Now, it is not natural for you to sit at your computer for hours on end although, if you use yourself efficiently, it is quite possible to do so without your back complaining.
This being said, for your overall health, it is much better to take regular breaks walking, stretching, getting some water to drink, doing some exercising, standing, dancing, etc…
How you sit down and get up from your chair actually matters and you will go through this in the next part of this course.
Once you sit, however, you want to avoid crossing your legs at the thigh level. It turns you into a pretzel and once habits set in, you are off-center. Not to mention, your energy is compressed and interfered with.
Crossing at the ankles is better if you must cross once in a while. Switching which ankle is on top of the other periodically is a good idea to avoid the problem of off-centeredness.
Going back to no crossing is best because then, your feet can be on the ground and your whole skeletal structure gets more support. So if you stray from feet flat on the floor, gently come back to it as often as you can.
Periodically “choosing to not tense anywhere and to allow your hip joints to soften” is like pushing a reset button for your upper body and lower body to reorganize themselves. Then, listen to what your body intelligence does for you when you empower it by stepping out of the way. You may feel your buttock muscles or lower back release naturally in the process. Perhaps your quads will too. You may experience your body reorganizing your balance. You may also discover muscles releasing that you did not know were tight. That is the beauty of working with your body intelligence as often as you can.
When you are done with this section, click the button below to access the walking section of Part 3.