Even though I work full-time in front of a screen, I never thought much about how to sit properly. I just believed what the occupational physicians said. But it always felt like I was doing something wrong because I got pain from sitting all day. So, let's question authority.
The recommendation was that the top line of information on the screen should be below eye level. It was supposed to be better for the body if the screen was arranged a little bit below this line so that I would look slightly downwards. I was surprised that I wasn't supposed to keep my head up, but it was written that way. Black and white. Even with pictures displaying the degrees of inclination for the head and the spine.
I knew that serious health problems came from spending (too) many hours sitting in the workplace. That sitting was the new smoking. Therefore, I wanted to make sure that I was doing my sitting right. That's why I addressed my concerns to a Bowspring teacher who also studied occupational ergonomics and wrote a book about healthy work in the office covering topics such as ergonomics, Bowspring, and mindfulness.
With great willingness to help, I received an answer almost immediately. She suggested that the top of the screen should be at eye level, not below. She gave me a few more tips on how to sit properly and how to position my spine. I am very grateful to her because she confirmed my gut feeling. It always felt wrong looking down at the screen. So, I immediately put some books underneath my screen to be able to look straight ahead. After a few days, I already felt an enormous relief in my neck.
The Bowspring method addresses this topic in general because it is a different postural alignment to what most people do while they sit or relax with their spine in the form of a C-curve. In contrast, Bowspring focuses on the natural double S-curve of the spine from the back of the head to behind the hips. The founder of the Bowspring method, Desi Springer, says, ‘The Bowspring is utilised as a template of alignment, and even internal alignment or attitude for walking, standing and sitting – the things that we already do every day.’ It was interesting to learn something as natural as walking and sitting all over again in my forties based on this postural alignment.
But it was worth it. Now that I've been doing Bowspring regularly, I feel much better after a working day in front of the screen. I no longer need massages to relieve the pain in my neck and shoulders. The good thing is that I don't have any pain at all now. Bowspring was the key to this. It not only improved my working conditions, but also my overall well-being.
Therefore, my recommendation to anyone who wants to sit healthily is to start doing Bowspring. You don't need the most expensive office chair; you need knowledge about your body and what is good for you. With the right postural alignment, alternating sitting positions, breaks and exercises, sitting ergonomically will hopefully be easy, natural and pain-free again. It's worth a try.
© Barbara Neubauer 2021-09-06