I can’t sit still, and not because I’m excited or restless. I’m uncomfortable.
The human body wasn’t built for the long hours the average white-collar worker puts in front of the screen daily. A lot of ink has been devoted to the subject of keeping yourself healthy while in front of the computer, so here are a few personal notes on the subject.
RSI, or Repetitive Strain Injury, is something you’re most likely familiar with. Long periods of typing or even using the mouse cause sore tendons, and without proper care your hands and arms can become almost unusable.
The funny thing is that it comes and goes. I’ve seen reports that suggest it may not be permanent. My own experience has been that as long as I’m not over-doing it and pushing myself beyond a comfort limit, the pain will ease over time. Long stretches of intense work obviously further the problem, but a few moments of rest after a marathon-length e-mail and the odd break away from my desk throughout the day go a long way toward healthy joints.
But a recent problem that I’d never encountered prior is, for lack of a better term, numb ass syndrome. I just can’t sit in one spot for long. I go back and forth between crossing my legs, placing my feet flat on the floor, hunching over, leaning back, and just about everything in between. No positions are comfortable. The only remedy is a good long walk.
It didn’t used to be like this. I’ve recently changed some habits, and the unfortunate result is that I end up stuck in a chair for far longer, and with far fewer breaks. My saving grace used to be half-hour long excursions to get lunch around the noon hour. I’ve been taking fewer of those, and I’m paying for it.
Some quick Googling reveals the following tips for relief of numb ass. As well as these, I’ll be making a point of getting out around noon of every day for at least a few minutes. We’ll see how this goes.
- Avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time, as this causes postural strain.
- Take frequent breaks to stand up and stretch.
- Place both feet flat on the floor when sitting.
- Avoid crossing your legs - this habit can lead to an imbalance in the pelvis.
- Sit back on the chair. It is very important that you give your back the proper support.
- Adjust your chair so that your knee is slightly higher than your hip. If your chair is not adjustable you will need a footrest.
- Don’t sit in a chair that is too large, too high or too low.
- Avoid leaning forward with your back arched. Work toward not being a slouch.