Sitting incorrectly can lead to back pain, circulation problems and an array of other discomforts and repetitive strain injuries.
With freelance translators spending so much of their day sitting, ensuring your chair is suitable for translating is essential, so here we examine five ways in which you can ensure your chair is working with you rather than against you.
#1 Support your lower back
Check that the lower part of the back of your chair supports your back when you are sitting down. If not, adjust it until your back is comfortably supported and your knees are on the same level as your hips.
#2 Position your feet
Your legs should be positioned so that your feet are flat on the floor, with your legs and hips level. If your knees are lower than your hips, either adjust the chair by lowering the seat or use a foot rest. If using a foot rest, ensure that your feet are flat against it. Avoid crossing your legs or ankles, as this can impact negatively on circulation.
#3 Check your desk
Once your back and feet are correctly positioned, check your desk to ensure that your keyboard, mouse, telephone and so forth can be reached while you are still sitting comfortably. There is little point in adjusting your chair to ensure perfect posture, then spending all day leaning forward in it in order to reach your keyboard.
#4 Consider your neck
While checking the positioning of the items on your desk, think about your computer screen as well. It should be directly in front of you and at eye level – if you have to twist to see your screen, reposition it until you don’t have to. Twisting or having to sit with your neck craning up or down is not good, so ensure that your chair and screen work together by adjusting both until you have the perfect posture.
#5 Think about kneeling
Kneeling chairs are known for improving posture by keeping joints and muscles active during the working day. A range of models are available, including chairs with or without backs. If you can’t get comfortable in a regular office chair, a kneeling chair might be just the thing you need.
By ensuring your chair is suitable for translating in this way, you are positively looking after your long-term postural health and preventing a range of potential issues. So take some time out to adjust your chair and ensure that you are perfectly positioned for translation.
Do you prefer a traditional office chair or a kneeling chair? Share your experiences via the comments box.