As new technology continues to consume our lives, it’s no surprise that overly sedentary lifestyles are becoming more and more common among working adults everywhere.
Although it would be ideal to cut most sitting out of our daily routine, it’s inevitable that more than half of the day will be spent sitting for most adults. So, how do we minimize the negative health effects of sitting for prolonged periods of time?
Good posture! We always hear that the key to healthy sitting is healthy posture. But, what does it even mean to have good posture and how can we successfully achieve it? Sure, sitting up straight is important, but there is so much more to consider.
One of the key concepts to remember is that your forearms and chair’s armrest should be level with your computer’s keyboard. However, for many, this means lifting the chair to a height where your feet don’t sit comfortably on the floor or are dangling above it. The easy solution? Use a footrest!
Footrests are often suggested by ergonomic specialists to help adults reach a comfortable position with minimum muscle strain while seated. Footrests help reduce the pressure on your back and give proper support to correctly balance your entire body. So why is it that most people have never seen the use of a footrest at their work space?
The main problem is that most adults adjust their seat height solely based on their feet and how comfortably they sit on the floor. Therefore, they don’t even know that they need a footrest in the first place. But by letting your leg height control your seat height, you are disregarding the main chair adjustments that will lead to a healthy, seated posture.
So, want to sit properly in your chair? Stop what you’re doing right now and lift or lower your chair height so that your armrests are level with the desk you are working at. Your shoulders should be relaxed rather than elevated. Make sure most of each thigh is resting on the seat with a small gap between the seat edge and back of your knees. Do your feet dangle? Are they barely touching the floor? If the answer is yes to either, you need a footrest!
Ergonomic footrests can be bought easily online or in stores for as low as $20. The platform is typically sloped to support convenient posture for the ankle and easy height change. Additionally, some footrests include angle adjustment to promote dynamic movement in the ankle.
Not sure you want to invest in one? Try using a small stool or stacking boxes – even a block of printer paper will work – to a height that feels comfortable for your feet instead. Don’t be afraid to go outside the norm and try something new – you will be amazed at how a simple footrest can completely “elevate” your sitting game.