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We aren’t supposed to be sitting down as much as we do. Our bodies are designed to be active and they need exercise, so when people sit for too long over a period of time, things start to go wrong.

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Many suffer with aches, pressure around the shoulders and legs and, of course, back pain. The main reason for this is because of the amount of time spent sitting in an office chair in a static position. Over time, this posture can overstretch ligaments and cause strain on our spines. It is therefore very important for us to minimise this where we can.

Is there a chair that can help?

An operator chair can be bought for times when we need to sit for a prolonged period, such as our office jobs. These types of chairs are designed to provide the correct support for our bodies whilst sitting. An operator chair must be adjusted to suit us to improve our comfort and minimise upset of the spine. Measurements of the workstation should be taken when making the chairs suitable for any individual. A trauma surgeon has recently designed a chair which requires you to move as you sit, and he donates these around the country in a bid to promote and improve public health. These chairs improve metabolic rates and reduce back pain.

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What else can be done?

It is vital that even with operator chairs for your office, you move around when you can, take breaks and stand for short periods of time as well as sitting. This will also help to keep you from being in one position for too long. Muscles require stretching, so a brief walk around every half hour or so will provide healthy blood flow.

According to a recent article, back pain is much less prevalent in certain cultures. For example, where people kneel or squat in other postures instead of sitting on a chair, there are much fewer complaints of this type of discomfort. This leads us to believe that the pain and discomfort felt due to incorrect posture and prolonged periods of sitting is indeed a phenomenon created by us.

So it seems we have a choice – to sit or to actively sit and reduce pain. Which will you choose?

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