Ergonomically designed tools and equipment greatly improve the way we work and our ability to avoid injury. We all know these products reduce stress and improve posture. However, like home gym equipment, proper and consistent use is key to reaping the benefits. Simply buying ergonomic products doesn't guarantee better posture.
You probably spend a lot of time reading reviews and researching to find the best ergonomic products before making a purchase. You rearrange your workspace and visualize how much better you will feel when you finally get that new ergonomic chair.
You’ve bought the top rated chair you could find. It finally arrives and you place it in a corner until you have time to set it up. In fact, the carton is sitting next to that new standing desk that you still haven’t taken out of the carton. The result is that you have a great quality, highly rated ergonomic chair that you’re not using. If you don’t use it, you won’t get the benefits of improved posture and efficiency while working.
2. Wrong use
Setting up the chair proves to be a little more difficult than you expected. It doesn’t fit under your desk at the current height and the arms are so high that your shoulders feel like their touching your ears.
The user manual is no help because you still can’t seem to figure out what you’re doing wrong. You get the arm height set to the proper level, but the seat is so high that you can’t sit under your desk properly. You ultimately decide that it’s not too bad – at least you have great back support. Unfortunately, you have to lean so far forward to reach the desktop that your low back is flexed and not even touching the lumbar support. This is a great chair, but it’s not going to improve your posture or body mechanics because you aren’t able to use it properly.
3. Use alone
When you start using your new workstation with the perfect chair, you start to feel the muscles in your back stiffen after hours of sitting. You're working on a project that needs to be done today, so you're still working for another two hours. When you finish the project, your back will be stiff and sore, which can cause some difficulty when you try to stand.
How is this going? You just got this amazing ergonomic furniture to prevent that. Why doesn't it work? The thing is that there are other factors that can improve posture and body mechanics. You can't think that just using these ergonomic products will solve your problems and eliminate stress from your body.
You may have other factors, such as limited back or hip mobility, that limit your ability to achieve correct sitting posture. Your hamstrings, hip flexors, and low back extensors may be chronically tense, causing pain when you sit for long periods of time. Poor trunk muscular endurance may prevent you from maintaining a neutral spine position for more than a few minutes.
Investing in ergonomic tools and equipment is an important step in improving posture, body mechanics, and efficiency. However, these products are only effective when used correctly and consistently. They're part of a good ergonomic plan, but they don't completely eliminate postural tension and the effects of gravity.
Poor flexibility, weakness, impaired muscular endurance and muscle tightness can limit your ability to use ergonomic equipment properly. So it's important to incorporate other activities into your routine. Regular rest, changing positions, walking, stretching, and strength exercises can address these issues and improve your posture. Combining these activities with correct and consistent equipment use is the best way to optimize the results of purchasing ergonomic products.