Image via Washington Post
Sitting at a sewing machine or longarm can be a pain in the neck, back, and other organs in your body...literally. While you enjoy long stretches of time stitching away, those hours can take their toll. Not only does sitting for long periods of time add to poor circulation in your legs and elevated levels of cholesterol, potential back problems can also occur due to the compression of our spinal disks. Think of it as sitting in front of the TV for hours on end. You need to get up and move around periodically. This Washington Post article shares more about how your body is affected with prolonged sitting.
We found these great tips (Bloglovin') to keep yourself flexible during those long and wonderful sewing days:
- Take a break every 30 to 45 minutes to get up and move your body. Walk around and do some stretches or even the desk jockey workout.
- When you do sit, focus on keeping your ears and shoulders lined up. That will go a long way in avoiding the shoulder slumping that often occurs when working at a desk. Again, you don’t need to strain your shoulders backwards, and you shouldn’t feel like you have to tense up to hold them back; just align them with your ears and keep them relaxed. If you’re having a hard time with that, a neat little hack I found on Breaking Muscle is to get a cheap inflatable travel pillow and put it around your neck while you work. When you start bringing your head forward and your shoulders up, you’ll feel the pillow pressing against your ears, reminding you to move your head and shoulders back to a neutral spine position.
- Another thing to focus on while sitting is to make sure your feet rest flat on the floor, with your knees and hips bent 90 degrees. Your elbows should also bend at 90 degrees while typing or resting on the arm rests of your chair. If your knees, hips, and elbows aren’t bent correctly, adjust your chair until they are.
Improve your flexibility in 30 seconds.
Now that you are completely relaxed and limber from all of those wonderful stretching exercises, let's look at what your bum is parked on. Not all bums or chairs are alike. It's not a one size fits all kind of option for most of us. If your are 5' 2" with short legs and your girlfriend Sally is 5' 10" with legs that never end, the choice of chairs for each of you is going to be very different. Bottom line...you need to test drive a variety of chairs to find the one that works best for you. Remember when you were sewing machine shopping? The purchase of a chair should require the same amount of effort. Most have the same bells and whistles, so this is where a test drive is optimal. You will be spending a lot of time with your bum in a seat so make sure it is the best fit for you.
Here are a few chair options to get you started:
Heavenly Chairs are designed with the sewer in mind. While not inexpensive, models are available for the petite, mid-level and tall sewer in mind. With 150 fabric choices and additional attachments, the chair can be custom made to fit your style and personality. HeavenlySeating
The BERNINA model BC 12090.00 offers hydraulic lift, adjustable height, a contoured back and lumbar support. AllBrands
See what Alex had to say about it.
Koala lets you choose a color and base finish to match their existing studio colors. Six-way adjustments provide hours of sewing comfort.
With a contoured seat and back with lumbar support, thick padded seat, pneumatic height adjustment, and 6-Way adjustment for extra comfort, the Horn adjustable chair just might be the perfect fit.
The Arrow Hydraulic Chair even includes a liftable seat cushion to reveal a hidden storage compartment for your small notions or patterns.
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