Ergonomic chair can prevent aches and pains
September 13, 2011
Every writer needs a good chair.
That gem of advice is from my university professor 20 years ago – and I’ve always kept it in mind. Without a good chair, he said, writers may sit awkwardly, overstraining our muscles. Doing this for many years can lead to repetitive strain injuries.
I recalled my teacher’s advice when I started feeling extra muscle stiffness in my upper back. It was time for a new chair at my home office.
I asked Facebook: “What’s the best ergonomic chair?” and someone suggested an Aeron chair by Herman Miller. It had positive reviews online, and I ended up finding one, “gently used,” on Craigslist from a nearby store that liquidates office furniture.
How to adjust your chair
When I got the chair home, I referred to the WorkSafeBC manual How to Make Your Computer Workstation Fit You and adjusted the height of my chair and monitor as recommended.
But now, when I look at my photo – compared to the diagram – I see I am too far forward in my chair, without proper back support. I’ll have to fine tune my setup – along with being mindful of my posture, stretching, exercising, and drinking more water and less coffee.
What more can I do?
Despite my efforts, I still get a bit of upper back stiffness, though nothing too bad. Maybe it strains muscles when I use my laptop and/or iPhone in my car or at a cafe because I have to tilt my head downwards to see their screens.
I’d like to ask an ergonomist what more I can do. How can I make my workstation even better? What’s an ergonomic way to use laptops on the go? Please share your suggestions or links.