American Ergonomics Corporation

Innovative Seat Technology for Comfort and Safety

What Hurts? & What to do about it!

You have been trained for your job, sometimes for years and keeping you up and running should be your number one priority. Keeping healthy is more than taking your vitamins. Everything at your workstation should support your health and safety, or something is going to hurt. If you are already hurting read this to find out what will help and, if you aren't hurting yet, read this to make sure you are using the proper tools to keep your body fit.

Lower Back Pain

Your back has a natural "S" curve. You want to keep your body aligned to preserve this "S" curve. When you slouch, your back deforms into a "C" curve. This puts pressure on the disks and causes back pain and eventually damage to the discs. Here are some common causes of back pain while seated.

The Tilt of your seat.

It is logical that if your seat is tilted flat or slightly back, your forward movements will cause "C" curving in your lower back. Avoid this by tilting the seat forward when doing tasks requiring you to reach forward. Even when you are sitting back and then get up, if the seat is tilted forward, it assists you in getting up rather than putting stress on the lower back.

Many chairs provide adjustment to the seat, but they do it with three or more paddles under the seat. Do you remember to change the tilt of your seat every time you move, to sit back, to sit erect, to reach forward? Probably not.

The solution is the SwingChair. It has continuous seat motion that automatically adjusts to your every move. The automatic seat motion also helps you get out of your chair without straining your lower back. This patented, dynamic seating design will save your back.

Support in the lower back

The amount of support needed in the lower back should be adjustable to the individual's size and shape. The SwingChair backs (Exec and Task Models) are adjustable up and down so that you can find that "Sweet Spot" that supports your lumbar curve. Further, you can set the lumbar depth and the tension of the back to allow firmer lumbar support if desired.

Neck and Shoulder pain

Check the obvious first.

Are you tilting your head up or down to look at your work?

Check how you look at the world (or your monitor as the case may be) for eight hours a day. If you are tilting you neck even slightly back to see your screen, this can cause pain in the neck and upper back in a very short time.

If you are short and cannot lower your work surface, set your chair higher and use the leg rest, base of the chair , a footrest or a footring (for very high lifts) to rest your feet. These are available with the SwingChair

If you are tall and bending your neck down to look at your work, you will quickly have neck and shoulder pain. You are probably so used to this pain you just thought it was part of being tall. Adjust your monitor so that your head is balanced straight. If you don't have an adjusting monitor or work station, find a way to get your work up to you. Put blocks under your desk or something under your monitor to raise it. Be sure to set your seat height correctly to preserve your natural "S" curve in your back and then move your surroundings up to support your correct body alignment. Lowering your chair to match your surroundings will "C" curve your back, causing both lower back, neck and shoulder pain.

If your seat height is correct and your monitor is right, it may be as easy as getting a document holder or book stand so you are not looking down at your desk to read. If you are constantly cradling your phone between your neck and shoulder, get a head set.

Arm and Hand pain

Support your arms.

Be sure your arms are supported while keyboarding. If your arms are forward and unsupported, the shoulder and neck are holding the weight of your arms. Try a desk tray. Some are even adjustable. This allows you to rest your arms offering complete support even when using the mouse. Strike keys lightly.

Also, the automatic tilt of the SwingChair seat will relieve pain by aligning the body for natural balance and reach.

Check your alignment.

When keyboarding, your elbows should be at right angles or even more open, wrists should be straight. Lower the keyboard or raise your chair to get the correct configuration. A pull out keyboard can be a good solution.
Chair arms are a must for keyboarding for long periods of time. Keep wrists straight. Only rest hands on a palm rest between periods of typing, not while typing. The SwingChair arms are adjustable in height and angle.

How are you mousing?

If you clutch your mouse for long periods of time you will probably say hello to tendonitis. Consider getting a ball mouse. Mousing surfaces should be on the same plane as the keyboard and close to the user's body to eliminate shoulder strains. Try using a mouse tray, set you mouse in front of your keyboard instead of off to the side.

Leg pain

Check your alignment and seat tilt.

Make sure your seat is tilted correctly for the way you work. The SwingChair automatically adjusts with you as you recline, sit erect or reach forward. The seat is always in the right position to keep your posture aliened.

Move often.

The SwingChair allows you to move freely as you reach forward for the phone, rest back to chat, sit erect to type. This encourages natural circulation.

Painful belief system

Finally, check your brain.

Could you possibly imagine that people were meant to sit still for 8 to 12 hours a day? Program some exercise into your day. Walk to work or take a hike at lunch. Keep some of your supplies far from your desk so you have to cross the room to get them several times a day.

Don't have time to take a break?

How alert are you when you are exhausted or in pain? You are much more efficient if you keep your body healthy with breaks. The investment in a chair that provides comfort and support is essential.
Copyright 2006 American Ergonomics Corp.