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19 April 2011

Tips About Sitting

1.Most of us sit too much. The average person sits more than 8 hours per day.
Many office workers sit as much as 15 hours per day. Think about all the
sitting in your typical day; sit at breakfast, sit on your way to work, sit at
work, sit on your way home from work, sit for dinner, and then sit to watch TV
or surf the internet.

2.Sitting puts your metabolism to sleep. 60 to 90 minutes of inactivity (like
sitting) is enough to shut down the enzymes responsible for producing HDL- the
good cholesterol, and for regulating blood sugar. Chronic inactivity is
now thought to contribute to our diabetes epidemic.

3.Sitting is harder on your back than standing. Sitting tenses the hamstrings
and causes a flattening of normal curve in the low back. This distortion of the
spine increases the internal strain of the back. Sitting upright or sitting in a
forward bent position is particularly hard on the back. (see the Trunk and Back
Pain link above for more on this subject)

4.Sitting with an open hip angle of greater than 90° reduces back tension.
Sitting in a reclined posture, thighs-declined, or even slouched back against
the back cushion can reduce tension in the spine. This reduces the hamstring
tension and shifts some of the upper body weight onto the back cushion.

.Sitting provides more stability and control for detailed work as opposed to
many types of stand up work. Sitting is easier on the Musculo-skeletal system
(except as noted above in number 3).

6.An hour of daily exercise won't counteract the negative health effects of
sitting. Running, biking and other types of exercise are great for improving
fitness, but they don't counteract the negative health effects of prolonged
sitting. Exercisers who sit most of the day are known as active couch potatoes.

7.You need to stand and move each hour or more to maintain health. Sitting puts
your metabolism to sleep. Movement like standing, walking, and other leg-muscle
activity stimulates your metabolism and restarts your body.

8.Adjust your chair for comfort, support, and movement. You chair should fit you
and your physique, and it should allow for a variety of postures and movement.
Adjust the back rest cushion up/ down to fit the curve of your low back, adjust
the seat height for a comfortable leg support, and set the backrest to allow
supported relining and movement back and forth. While seated you should fidget,
squirm, contract/relax your muscles, and flex/extend your legs. Remember
movement is good, sitting still for long periods is bad.

9.Your best posture is your next posture. There is no single best ergonomic
posture. Most experts recommend a variety of positions and postures including
these four reference postures; upright supported, reclined seated, thighs
declined, standing.

10.Don't sit if you can stand, don't stand if you can walk. Thomas Jefferson
and Ben Franklin both knew that standing for work was a good thing. Both of
these great Americans had stand up workstations.

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