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    How you can improve your posture through exercise at work

    Fit despite sitting in front of the computer for hours

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    Long periods of sitting and highly concentrated work in front of a computer can lead to tension, poor posture and chronic back pain. In addition, lack of movement has a negative effect on the entire human body. Thereby, these negative side effects of sedentary human work can be prevented by simple means.

    Too much sitting: Volkskrankheit Bewegungsmangel

    Many of us spend a large part of the day in front of the computer and then in the vast majority of cases sitting. Since our bodies are actually designed for regular physical activity and constant movement, this lack of movement can make us sick. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 42% of the population in Germany suffers from a lack of exercise. This makes Germany one of the countries most affected. The consequences can be manifold. Lack of exercise can result in chronic back pain as well as cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, metabolic diseases and diabetes mellitus. Lack of exercise can also promote obesity and chronic pain. In addition, lack of exercise weakens the whole organism, leading to a weak immune system, increased colds and more and more allergies.

    Volkskrankheit Bewegungsmangel

    Grade in winter, when it is cold outside and instead of biking or walking to the supermarket, we prefer to take the car after all, or in times of COVID-19 and a changed social life, when we can't do team sports or other social sports, lack of exercise can become a growing problem. Sedentary activities dominate our daily lives, but to still engage in regular physical activity and stay healthy, even small changes can help. Children and young people are particularly affected by a lack of exercise. That's why it's important at any age to incorporate at least 60 minutes of physical exertion into the daily routine. A walk at a moderate pace can already be enough.

    What does ergonomics

    mean?

    The term ergonomics is composed of the Greek words ergon,work, and nomos, rule or law. Ergonomics is thus concerned with the regularity of human work. Ergonomic findings related to sitting in front of a computer for hours are, for example, that a straight back and the computer screen at eye level are good working positions that can prevent back pain. Ergonomic workstation design can prevent disease early and is supported by many employers. To limit sedentary work in general and incorporate more movement at the computer, you can work standing at a desk, for example, and always incorporate small breaks with stretching exercises and walks into your daily routine.

    How healthy are sitting balls

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    For a long time, beanballs were traded as an alternative to the office chair, however, experts now say that sitting too long on beanballs in the office can cause fatigue, as it permanently stresses the deep muscles and can overstrain the muscles. This then leads to tension and back pain, exactly the opposite of what the bean ball was supposed to achieve. These tensions can result in poor posture, further exacerbating the problems. Set balls, on which you have to keep your balance and thus constantly change position, strengthen your back muscles. So while you shouldn't bounce around on a rubber ball all day, 30 minutes a day is definitely recommended.

    Sitting back-friendly

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    By back-friendly sitting is broadly understood a straight sitting posture, which is based on the natural posture of the spine and back. Accordingly, the seat should be horizontal to the floor, the feet should be flat on the floor, the knees should be bent at right angles, and the forearms should rest on the table, comfortably reaching the computer keyboard. It is especially common for computer work to cause neck strain because you have to twist your head to look at the screen. Therefore, the monitor should be in a straight line of vision with the head tilted slightly downward while the shoulders are relaxed. The posture of sitting backwards may be the natural one for the spine, but anyone who constantly remains rigidly in it will also develop back problems in the long run. In addition to the correct posture, it is especially important to equip the workplace in a way that promotes constant movement and change in the sitting posture.

    Ddynamic sitting

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    Dynamic sitting is the constant change of sitting posture. The aim of dynamic sitting is to encourage as frequent and varied movements as possible, in order to maintain the natural mobility of the joints and stimulate muscular metabolism even when sitting. To do this, you need a support (i.e. a desk chair, for example) that ideally does not allow static sitting without movement. By slightly shifting and tilting the backrest or the seat area, a continuous change in posture is brought about and thus tension is prevented.

    Exercises for more movement in everyday office life

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    Exercises in everyday office life

    Some examples of physical movements that can be easily incorporated into everyday office life and won't scare away an incoming visitor include shoulder and neck stretching exercises. For example, you can touch your shoulder on the same side with your fingertips and then move your elbows in a circular motion, or you can make circular motions with your head to relieve tension in your neck. Another simple exercise is done by placing the hand to the opposite ear and then pulling the elbow down. The important thing to remember with all these exercises is that you should not overdo the stretching and cause further damage to the muscles, frequent gentle exercises are more effective than infrequent extreme ones. Also, it is important to perform the same exercise on both sides at a time to strengthen the balance of the spine. Also during work is helpful in light forward and backward bending, as well as stretching exercises of the feet. Shoes should be removed for this purpose. Two particularly effective exercises are stretching the chest area by spreading the arms wide and then stretching them backward. This opens up the chest and heart area and has also been shown to change mood and social openness. The other exercise is done by bringing the hands together in front of the chest and interlacing the fingers. Then you put your arms through with your palms facing forward. With an exhale, one then pulls the folded arms over the head and back as far as possible. This exercise not only helps train a straight posture, but especially relaxes the shoulders and neck.

    Checklist of an ergonomic desk chair

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    Ergonomic Desk Chair
    1. Seating surface and padding
    2. .
    • Individually adjustable seat height
    • .
    • Front edge of seat rounded and slightly sloped down
    • Sliding seat to adjust the office chair to your thigh length
    • .
    • Suspension when sitting down
    • Tiltable seat
    • Synchronous mechanism or mechanism for dynamic sitting
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    1. Backrest
    • Anatomical shape
    • movable
    • Height adjustable
    • Tilt of at least 15 degrees
    • Recline extends to the shoulder blades
    • Lean pressure adjustable to body weight
    • .
    • optionally with head or neck support
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    1. Arm rests
    • Ergonomic armrest with 20 centimeters length and at least 5 centimeters width
    • .
    • Height adjustable
    • Slides forward and back
    • swiveling

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