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Posture while sitting at the computer
Thread poster: Pablo Roufogalis
Pablo Roufogalis
Colombia
Local time: 17:49
English to Spanish
Sep 1, 2004

Hello to all.

I recently had some breathing difficulties while sleeping and that made me aware of several issues regarding my habits and body postures.

I detected that I sit (long hours) hunched down and use my stomach muscles to support the weight of my upper torso. Sounds crazy but for one reason or other after a while I return to that position.

That of course limits the diaphragm movements and the way I breathe. I am also developing a pot belly and the stomach muscles feel tight all the time.

Any hints on how to fight this?

Thanks in advance


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 00:49
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Ergonomic chair, probably Sep 1, 2004

Something like this:
http://www.plasma2system.com/
http://www.kneelsit.com/

I myself am thinking of buying one as am having problems with my back after sitting many hours a day at my computer.

And here are some advices:
http://www.ergonomics.com.au/howtosit.htm

[Edited at 2004-09-02 00:01]


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xxxsarahl
Local time: 15:49
English to French
+ ...
stretching and exercise Sep 2, 2004

Hi Pablo
If you sit at your computer all day, you should probably take a break every 2 hours or so and stretch or exercise 10 minutes.
It should help your posture and your stomach -your brain can probably benefit from the extra oxygenation too!
Sarah


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 00:49
English to German
+ ...
thank you Sep 2, 2004

Natalie wrote:

Something like this:
http://www.plasma2system.com/
http://www.kneelsit.com/

I myself am thinking of buying one as am having problems with my back after sitting many hours a day at my computer.

And here are some advices:
http://www.ergonomics.com.au/howtosit.htm

[Edited at 2004-09-02 00:01]
Hi! I find this link very interesting. It didn´t strike me that I was having similar troubles. Thank you for the information.
Brandis


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Andrea Ali  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:49
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Don't forget your legs! Sep 2, 2004

They are as important. No matter what chair you sit on, your legs muscles are contracted. In order to stretch them, stand in front of a wall, place your hands against it at shoulders height and bend your elbows so that your face almost touches the wall. Keep your legs straight until you feel your muscles stretching. You may feel a little pain behind your knees. Go back to the original position and repeat the exercise for about five minutes, three or four times a day.

Sit-ups are a great exercise to strengthen your muscles and in time they will help to improve your position.

I don't want to contradict anyone or "start a war" here, but I have tried the ergonomic chair and after a few hours, I was bending down as usual.

What has really helped me was regular exercise and correcting the position every time I noticed I was not sitting down correctly.

Good luck!
Andrea


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:49
English to Polish
+ ...
Don't forget to exercise!! Sep 2, 2004

Pablo Roufogalis wrote:
...I am also developing a pot belly and the stomach muscles feel tight all the time...


An ergonomic chair is nice, but it will not make your pot belly disappear.
You need to exercise also (like Andrea writes). You really don't need much.
I rent a gym with a group of my friends and play basketball and volleyball once a week for 2-3 hours. I used to have back problems and when I started doing this, they went away and practically never came back.
If you don't have enough basketball-playing friends, you can go to a swimming pool, or a fitness club, or ride a bicycle (I expect climate is not a problem in Venezuela, like it is in Poland)
Don't make excuses for yourself that you don't have time. Just imagine the problems you will have twenty years from now.

Also, when I translate, I always take breaks and get up from the computer to wash the dishes after breakfast, go out and buy bread/newspaper/fruit, cook dinner (or at least get it ready).
It doesn't take much, except for a tiny bit of perseverance and discipline.

HTH
Pawel Skalinski


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Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 00:49
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I have a great book... Sep 2, 2004

I have a great book, called "Posture, get it straight". It has all kinds of tips and exercises to help you improve your posture.

Also I try to go to the gym three times a week - but only one of those classes is a "must". That's "Wirbelsäulengymnastik" or "Spinal Fitness" in English. I really feel my back going all cranky if I skip a week!

Doing the exercises is hard work, but the results are worth every minute!

My tuppence worth

Alison


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Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:49
German to English
+ ...
Ergonomic Chairs in Germany Sep 2, 2004

I quite liked the look of the Equipoise ergonomic chair, but unfortunately they don't deliver it to Germany, which is where I'm based.

Does anyone have any idea or any tips where I could get hold of an ergonomic chair in Germany?

Thanks in advance!

Sarah


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Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:49
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
exercise! Sep 2, 2004

Andrea Ali wrote:

What has really helped me was regular exercise and correcting the position every time I noticed I was not sitting down correctly.

Andrea


Yep, I completely agree. I too have sat in those ergonomic chairs for years (in-house at two large companies) but I've found that nothing invigorates you more - and corrects posture problems - than a good work-out. If you're not one of those sweat-till-you-drop types, go on your own pace. There are so many possibilities now in modern gyms. I combine 2x/week spinning, 4-5x weights, 4x running and swimming. No potbelly as of yet and all the doughnuts you can eat...ok, not all but one can indulge. Remember to combine aerobic, stretching and muscle strengthening exercises.

Here's one practical exercise that will help your posture and strengthen your diaphragm/stomach muscles:

1. Lie on your back on floor (or better: floor exercise mat)
2. Bend both knees so that the soles of your feet are flat on the floor
3. Raise both arms vertically
4. Now raise your torso - from waist up - from floor and contract your stomach muscles as you go up, all the while simulating motion as if you're reaching for something in the ceiling
5. Hold that position for 2 seconds then slowly return to original position

If you experience pain or soreness after several hours of sitting, here's another exercise to (temporarily) relieve the soreness:

1. Lie on your tummy and relax
2. Prop yourself on your elbows and arch your back

Marcus


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Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 00:49
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
here's a site you could try... Sep 2, 2004

Sarah Downing wrote:

Does anyone have any idea or any tips where I could get hold of an ergonomic chair in Germany?

Sarah


Hello Sarah!

Check out: http://www.ergonomie-katalog.com/

I've never bought anything from them, but they seem to have the lot. The problem with the "kneeling chairs" is that they place a greater strain on your knees - which some orthopedists believe is a bad idea. The Moizi chairs are supposed to be very good.

The best thing to do before you buy a chair is to find a shop that sells them and go along and try one out. You probably spend more time in your chair than you do in your shoes - and you wouldn't buy a pair of shoes without trying them on first

HTH

Alison


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Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 00:49
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
kids and exercise Sep 2, 2004

Marcus Malabad wrote:

I combine 2x/week spinning, 4-5x weights, 4x running and swimming. No potbelly as of yet and all the doughnuts you can eat...ok, not all but one can indulge.
Marcus


Wow! When do you find time to work? No kids, huh?

I can\'t wait until my gym starts morning spinning classes again. In summer they only have them in the evening, but there\'s no child care at the gym in the evenings

Marcus Malabad wrote:

Here\'s one practical exercise that will help your posture and strengthen your diaphragm/stomach muscles:

1. Lie on your back on floor (or better: floor exercise mat)
2. Bend both knees so that the soles of your feet are flat on the floor
3. Raise both arms vertically
4. Now raise your torso - from waist up - from floor and contract your stomach muscles as you go up, all the while simulating motion as if you\'re reaching for something in the ceiling
5. Hold that position for 2 seconds then slowly return to original position

Marcus


Oooh, now there\'s a tough one after three kids!

Best, Alison


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 00:49
French to English
Beware of the "kneel-sit" type chairs! Sep 2, 2004

Natalie wrote:

http://www.kneelsit.com/

I myself am thinking of buying one as am having problems with my back after sitting many hours a day at my computer.


I don't have this particular model, but I have been using one of the more common backless models for about a year now. I find that it is good for the back, but puts enormous strain on the knees and shins by the end of the day...

I don't know if others have experienced this problem or not.

I am currently looking for a new solution. Ergonomic office chairs seem to run at least 600 euro, though...ouch!

In order to recover from your day as much as possible while sleeping, try an ergonomic foam pillow (such as Dunlopillo's model--sort of a wavy shape with a bump under the neck). I have been sleeping with one for about 8 years now and I have to say it has made a huge difference.

I also know someone who sits on a Swiss exercise ball--she claims it's the best!!

Regards,
Sara


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 00:49
French to English
Check out www.humanscale.com for products and tips Sep 2, 2004

This website looks like a great resource, with availability in Europe.

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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:49
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Comfortable armchair plus voice recognition Sep 2, 2004

An unconventional answer, but it works for me. Instead of being hunched over a keyboard, stomach compressed, I sit in a big comfortable leather armchair with an adjustable back, so that I am sometimes nearly horizontal, feet up, back straight, stomach relaxed, upper body muscles relaxed (helped by regular visits to the gym), and I talk to my computer using voice recognition software. I used to have some of the problems you describe, but not any more.


[Edited at 2004-09-02 10:04]


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 23:49
a good cushion Sep 2, 2004

Never underestimate the comfort of a firm comfy cushion behind your back

Agree with Marcus about the workout - I try to get in 2 10km walks a week and a 20-lap swim at the weekends.
(Note, I *try*, does not always happen, but the intentions are good! :-> )

Orla


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