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Good Posture for Hobbies and Crafting

If you enjoy any of the following activities - crafting, jewelry making, scrapbooking, sewing, needlepoint, crocheting, knitting, or decorative painting - you face some extra posture challenges.

The typical mechanical problems that crafter's face include:

  • long hours of sitting
  • awkward positions involving arms, shoulders, wrists, neck and lower back
  • twisting, turning, reaching for tools
  • hand tool use, especially plier use and filing, forces wrist out of its neutral position
  • bad seating design
  • slouching sitting posture
  • crafting at incorrect working heights

Therefore, crafters often exhibit the following alignment problems:

  • forward-head position
  • stooping upper backs
  • rounded shoulders
  • tight, tense neck muscles
  • carpel tunnel syndrome
  • tight chest muscles
  • aching lower back
  • weak mid-back muscles

If you enjoy crafting activities, there are numerous benefits to be gained from improving your posture: eliminating neck and back pain, strengthening weak muscles, and reducing stress on overworked muscles. Once you learn correct body mechanics, you can craft longer with more comfort.

Correct Sitting Posture

  • Slide your buttocks all the way to the back of the chair seat so you are sitting squarely on your bottom. This helps spine align correctly.
  • Your lower back should be right up against the lumbar support.
  • Thighs should be in a ninety-degree angle to torso and lower legs in a ninety-degree angle to thigh.
  • Feet should be flat on the floor. If your feet don't touch the floor, use a stool to help keep tensions out of lower back.
  • Armrests should be right where your elbows naturally fall.
  • Forearm should be in a ninety-degree angle, or lower, with upper arm.
  • When arms rest on armrest, this takes 25 percent of the pressure off lower spinal disks and greatly decreases upper back stress.
  • Sit up straight without hanging your head forward from your neck.
  • Don't let upper back slump forward.

Chair Hints

  • The wrong chair can cause much discomfort.
  • Sitting puts 40 percent more pressure on lower back disks.
  • Have a seat that is adjustable both in height and angle.
  • Your chair should help keep your spine vertical, provide lumbar support, and have a swivel seat for easy shifting.

Tips For Less Tension

  • Take movement breaks every forty-five minutes or so.
  • Work for shorter periods of time.
  • During breaks, relieve muscle tensions with exercises/stretches.
  • Even if doing the same craft, alternate working heights. Have one work surface that works for sitting and one that works for standing.
  • Studies have linked mostly standing or mostly sitting jobs with more lower back pain than jobs where changes in posture occur.
  • Get a good chair.
  • Get a table that adjusts to different heights.

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