Given the large majority of us work long hours, and spend a reasonable portion of that in front of a computer in a variety of ergonomically unfriendly ways, it’s hardly surprising there isn’t a whole lot more back and neck pain around (or headaches or arm/jaw/shoulder/eye pain for that matter). We know that ‘sitting correctly‘ is a term that makes most people roll their eyes and glaze over with boredom but if you think of it as work posture to reduce or remove pain, it makes much more sense.
You can make small changes to the way you work that will help you avoid pain and. It’s truly amazing the difference some little alterations can make to your pain levels on a daily basis.
More and more, people are complaining of headache, neck ache, lower back pain and general lethargy. Is everything hurting by the end of the day? This may be due to poor posture at your desk.
Below are some guidelines to help you minimize physical discomfort that may accompany prolonged static postures and repetitive motions. A general rule is to avoid prolonged or highly repetitive postures. Take micro breaks, or better get up and move around…
The chair is one of the most important items in your workplace. It can encourage good posture and circulation and so help you to avoid discomfort. Select a chair that is comfortable for you; it should be adjustable and provide good back support. You should adjust your chair so that:
- Your knees are slightly below your pelvis (seat of chair is tilting slightly downwards) and there is support for your lower back. Lower back support may be improved with a cushion or a rolled up towel if chair has inadequate support.
- Your feet rest flat on the floor. If your chair is too high you should use a footrest. You should change your sitting position occasionally during the day. Sitting in a fixed position for too long can induce discomfort.
Comfortable use depends on keyboard height, arm position and touch. You are seated correctly if:
- The keyboard is positioned so that your arms are relaxed and comfortable, and your forearms are roughly horizontal.
- Your shoulders are in a relaxed position, not hunched up.
- Your wrists should be extended straight, not bent up or down uncomfortably.
Place the mouse close to the keyboard so that you can use it without stretching or leaning over to one side.
Adjust your monitor to the way most comfortable to you:
- Position yourself and the display to achieve and maintain a comfortable viewing distance, usually about 50 to 60 cm.
- Adjust the display so that the top of the screen is slightly below eye level for comfortable viewing.
- Make sure that you position the screen to minimize glare and reflections from overhead lights, windows and other sources.
- Keep your head in a comfortable but upright position