Lower back pain, tense neck, thighs asleep: those who have to sit in front of the computer for a long time are familiar with such ailments. Sitting in a forced posture in front of the PC for several hours takes a physical toll, the intervertebral discs are flat, the back pinches. How unhealthy is sitting? And: How do you sit “correctly” and, above all, “healthy”?
Is sitting the new smoking?
Sitting is considered extremely harmful to health. Today’s average person spends most of their time sitting. Studies have shown that office workers spend about six to seven hours a day in work chairs, and students sometimes more than ten hours. With their joysticks, some gamers and gamers sometimes sit even longer in front of their PC on their chair. The one-sided stress caused by long periods of sitting has consequences for health. Doctors even speak of a backache epidemic. A corpulent body, but also hemorrhoids, are favored by long periods of sitting. A twisted or tight back can even cause migraine-like headaches. Studies have shown that sitting for long periods also increases the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and some types of cancer. Even parts of the brain are said to degenerate while sitting.
The bad image of sitting is exaggerated
Sounds paradoxical, but at the same time sitting compared to standing relieves the strain on the heart, and less body rotation is required for many works with the hands. The reduced stress frees up capacities for the head. In this respect it is only logical that we sit in school, and in the office. Because it enables us to achieve top mental performance. Only: We exaggerate it, and this is not good. Prolonged sitting is indeed harmful to health. However, the bad image of sitting is exaggerated. In any case, the motto of orthopedic surgeons has been different for a few years now. It’s not just sitting that’s bad, it’s sitting stiffly. Sitting upright is healthy… Credo: Active sitting is best.
The current consensus that “correct”, that is, active sitting in the office is at least no more harmful than standing, has an advantage: It is based on scientific research results. According to this, dynamic sitting has a measurable influence on the intervertebral discs, as orthopedists have found out. The intervertebral discs absorb fluid. The increase in length is a phenomenon that also occurs at night while lying down when the back is relieved and makes people about two to three millimeters taller.
A healthy office chair must enable active sitting
It is true that it is often said that a healthy sitting posture in the office helps against back pain. But it’s not that easy. Because a traditional office chair with rigid seat support technology is not equally suitable for everyone. Even the angle of the pelvis differs between men and women (65 degrees for men, 85 degrees for women). The body sizes are also different. That is why it is necessary to adjust an office chair individually. The chair and desk should match each other, but also match your height. At the same time, a healthy office chair should enable active sitting.