I had a very interesting discussion over e-mail this past week with a former student of mine.
It started with his e-mail asking for my thoughts on a new office chair from my Alexander Technique perspective.
I went to the website to check out this chair and see what all the fuss was about. It claimed Perfect Posture and Stronger Core Effortlessly!
Wow I thought.
The holy grail.
Done and done!
It seems we are all looking for the perfect chair—so we can sit on it and let it take care of our posture.
Unfortunately, no chair is going to get you off the hook for managing yourself, whatever surface you place your bum on.
The chair my student was asking me about is basically a stool that is purposely unstable and therefore causes you to move as you sit instead of getting locked in a position. Designers of ergonomic furniture have been on this track of getting you to move a bit as you sit for a while now. So, this is not necessarily new. And in my opinion it is good to move more than less.
This initial interaction led to a back and forth discussion of office furniture.
My final piece of advice to him was not to purchase a certain chair or desk but to:
1) move and 2) make whatever adjustment you need to in your environment to make #1 happen as much as possible.
This could mean:
1) getting a chair that allows you to move as you sit
2) investing in an adjustable height desk that not only allows you to sit on a wiggly chair but to stand, to perch on a high stool or sit in a regular chair (you know with a back and all that) and to alternate between these options often
3) Challenging the norm and sitting on the floor some of the time to do things, if you like to do that
4) Taking your lunch break away from your desk so you walk somewhere and sit in a different chair to eat
5) Asking your colleagues to try having a 60 second stretch break as part of every meeting
6) Organizing your tasks for the day so you rotate through different work positions and movements instead of staying in one for an extended period of time
If you keep the following as your guiding principle…
1) move and 2) make whatever adjustment you need to in your environment to make #1 happen as much as possible
… only your creativity will limit the ideas you come up with.
I’d love to hear your ideas! Share them by leaving a comment below.