Sunday, June 3, 2007

Good posture for Sewing (or Blogging)

For comfort and to decrease the risk of strain injury, it is important to pick a good chair and to set the sewing machine at a good height for your own body. Susan Delaney Mech, M.D answered this question as follows:
  1. The first step is to set the height of your sewing chair. The seat should be at a height that allows your feet to rest flat on the floor and your knees to make a perfect 90-degree angle. A secretarial chair makes a good, adjustable sewing chair.

  2. The next step is to lower your sewing machine table until, with your elbows bent at a perfect 90-degree angle, your fingertips can rest on the feed dog of your machine. I am 5 feet 6 inches tall, and my sewing machine table is 22 inches off of the floor.

  3. Proper chair and sewing machine height, combined with good posture of your back and neck, and hourly breaks, will go a long way toward preventing (or healing from) Repetitive Strain Injury.

Avoid slouching. Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed. Try to keep your elbow, hips, and knees at right angles (ninety degrees). Avoid pressure to the back of the knees. If your feet can't comfortably be flat on the floor, then consider a foot rest. You should also consider taking breaks every 30-60 minutes and do some stretching exercises for your wrists and hands and body. Sometimes, as in the OR, breaks can't be taken that often. Do the best you can with table/chair (computer moniter/OR table/etc) height and stretch when you are able. It will help keep the aches at bay and the joints a little more supple. That will allow you to enjoy your hobby (sewing, knitting, bloggin) and maybe your work for many more years.

You may want to check out this OSHA sewing station design page. Another interesting source for prevention of injury while sewing/quilting is a powerpoint presentation at Sport & Spine Physical Therapy website is "How to Quilt Forever"

1 comment:

Dr. A said...

Great tips! Thanks so much for the link. I've added you to my blogroll as well. Keep up the great work!