If you’re a developer or QA chances that you spend most of your working hours sitting are quite high. Probably 6-8h a day, day by day, month by month… well, that sounds like a LOT of time in one position. Getting up for grabbing an extra coffee cup doesn’t really count. Been there, done that?
Luckily for us, we have Marek on board who takes care on the work ergonomics - to make the story short he’s the right guy to ask about improving your work habits. So we did:)
What are the health risks of spending long hours on the job seated at the computer?
There is quite a lot of consequences that are attributed to constant sitting! Let’s just focus on the backbone itself. A prolonged stay in one forced position may result in spinal pathologies. By sitting we accelerate the process of straightening of the lumbar spine which causes pain and disc prolapse issues. Sounds pretty nasty, huh?
Wrong adjustment of the screen and keyboard harshly affect the top part of the spine. What we should do is following the simple rule: the top edge of the screen should go at eye level. A monitor which is set too low results in changes in the neck and shoulder pain. Too far extended keyboard stretches and weakens the back muscles. By combining the keyboard and the screen in laptops, it is impossible to obtain an ergonomic position.
Any changes in the spine are rather irreversible, and certainly - hard reversible.
So how can we improve our work habits?
To make it short - the best position is the next position. A good hint is regularly changing the sitting position during working hours. Let’s make breaks. Let’s use standing desk.
How to choose the perfect chair?
The chair must be 100% adjustable (height, armrests, backrest and seat + sync system). Everyone is different and each needs its own settings. We need a good support for our lumbar spine as this part suffers with the largest overload. A really evil evil phenomenon are high-backed chairs - they prevent you from stretching during work. Another important factor a deflectable chair back which allows for the temporary relief in a relaxed position for the spine. Headrests do not improve ergonomics, sometimes even force to slumping.
Is standing desk a better option?
Standing at work also has its drawbacks. Like I said - each position enforced in the long term leads to troubles. The great idea is switching between standing desk and a solid sitting workstation.