Sunday Dec 04, 2022

Are more expensive ergonomic office furniture better for your wellbeing? – CNA


Over the past year of pandemic-induced working from home, have you, like many others, transformed your dining table or kitchen island into your “office desk”? Or worse, are you crouching at your coffee table or slumping in bed with your laptop propped on a pillow? If so, you might have already noticed a nagging pain in your neck, shoulders or lower back because of your bad posture or extended hours of sitting in front of your computer without moving around.

No surprises that the posture experts say WFH pains are one of the most common complaints that people have these days. But while the aches and pains might seem unbearable, fret not. There are ways to alleviate these issues simply by adjusting your seating posture and making a point to take frequent “movement breaks” at regular intervals in the day.


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And if you have not already done so, consider investing in your wellbeing by setting up a dedicated workstation at home with a comfortable table and chair that helps you stay comfortable. If your budget allows it, why not splurge on some ergonomic furniture.

“Having one unit of properly crafted equipment – an ergonomic office equipment – can consistently help ensure the right alignment is adhered to,” said Dr Seow Kim Seng, director and founder of MacQuarie Chiropractic Clinic.

“Also, this WFH situation is here to stay, at least for a period of time, so why not chip in a little to keep that one and only spine of ours at its best state and condition?”

We get three experts – Dr Seow; Dr Benjamin Tan, founder of Chirogenesis; and Rabia Shah, senior physiotherapist and clinical pilates instructor at Como Shambhala Urban Escape, Singapore to share how you can make the most of your fancy home office set up and to avoid pains from recurring. Plus, our edit of the most covetable ergonomic furniture to spruce up your WFH situation.


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Remember to maintain what is known as a “neutral spine”, where your lower back is neither too arched nor too flattened. Should you start to feel your body getting fatigued, move your bottom all the way to the back of your chair so that your thighs get maximum support on the seat, said Shah.

Avoid crossing your legs as you sit as this affects your centre of gravity, instead plant them firmly on the ground so that your weight is evenly distributed. If your feet cannot reach the floor, prop them up with a small stool or a stack of books. Finally, check that your ears, shoulders and hips line up. In particular, be aware of “text neck”, where you tend to look down or stick your head forward to look at your screen. To alleviate this affliction, position your screen at eye level.


No matter how many desk-bound hours you might be clocking, remember the golden rule: Motion is lotion.

Said Dr Seow, “According to research, however good a posture is, not having any movement in a prolonged seated, or standing position, is just as bad.” Set a timer to go off every 45 minutes to an hour so that you will remember …….


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