A Change is as Good as a Rest, or Ergonomics for Dummies

A Change is as Good as a Rest, or Ergonomics for Dummies

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Ergonomics original definition was the study of people\'s efficiency in their working environment. As the nature of many people\'s work has changed, and people more and more and more find themselves in front of a computer, as opposed to interacting directly with others, the importance of having a hospitable work setup has escalated. Additionally, at home, many people find themselves in front of a computer as well. People working on computers tend to zone out and refuse to move their bodies. In the field of ergonomics, there are two schools of thought that often show up. These can loosely be divided into the importance of posture and the importance of movement.

The posture school often emphasizes maintaining perfect right angles for knees, thighs/back and elbows and continuous monitoring for perfect spinal posture. The movement school takes the approach that, as you might predict, movement is the goal and a range of postures is preferable to any one magic position. People sometimes ask why a chiropractor like myself is leaning back in my chair instead of sitting upright. The answer is that an aesthetically pleasing 90 degree seated posture puts significantly more pressure on the lumbar discs than a reclining posture of 120 or 135 degrees, possibly twice as much pressure depending on the study. In my fifteen years of chiropractic and physical therapy practice in the Rockville area, I have seen and treated countless disc herniations, many of which are doubtless caused by prolonged sitting and too much pressure in the lumbar area. One of the principles of the movement movement is \"The best position is the next position\". Prolonged sitting, prolonged adaptation of any one posture, no matter how precise and aesthetically pleasing, is more harmful than adopting a range of comfortable postures.

In my office, I have the advantage of having a job that requires change. When doing my computer work I use a chair on wheels that has adjustable height. Meta-analyses have shown that variability in height an easy rolling are important factors in looking for an ergonomic chair. I have patients coming at a regular basis that get me out of my chair. When I work with them, I either stand or sit on a theraball.

If you\'re concerned your workstation is trying to kill you, if you have any sort of pain that you think might be due to your work or use of computers, please have someone take a cell phone picture of yourself in your normal working/computer posture(s). Make an appointment and come by my office, at Rosa Chiropractic and Physical Therapy Center and I\'d be happy to talk to you about how you can change your work space, and devise a treatment plan to get you better. Contact our team today to learn about chiropractic care in Rockville MD.

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