Do you want better posture?
If you want better posture, set up your desk to MINIMISE the time spent LOOKING DOWN. This happens naturally if the TOP of the monitor is level with the top of your nose. Times this over hours, weeks and years and you can imagine that this one step could prevent serious back and neck issues in years to come.
Your monitor needs to be at a height where the top of the screen is at least in line with the bridge of your nose.
This keeps our whole body much more upright without any effort rather than slumping down to look at the computer screen. Prop your monitor up by putting on stand, book or box. When sitting at your desk you should have two feet on the ground in front of you. If you need to have your chair higher so that you are better aligned with the height of your desk then get a foot stool to rest your feet on. Once on your chair with your feet on the ground in front of you, your elbows should be bent and your wrists and forearms should be resting in a relaxed position on the desk infront of you. Make sure your shoulders also relaxed down and not sitting up around your ears. This is very important!!
For those of you that work off a laptop
Essentially you want to turn your laptop into a PC when you are using it either at home or in the office. Do this by getting a separate mouse and keyboard to plug into the laptop. Use the laptop for the screen only propped up on a book, stand or box. This allows you to look straight ahead at the computer and not down therefore preventing neck and back strain. If you are looking down over long periods of time at your desk we get strains in our neck and back muscles, this can even cause you to get micro tears in the postural muscles of the neck and back… you don’t want this do you? So make sure you follow the above guide lines to setup your desk correctly to avoid back and neck pain.
Prolonged sitting can put a lot of stress on the body and can result in neck or low back pain. To help minimise the strain on the body it is important to set up your desk correctly.
Ergonomic Seated Posture
- Keep your head straight, try to avoid any forward or backward tilting.
- Your thighs should be parallel to the floor with your feet flat on the floor. (Use a foot rest if required).
- Ideally, you should keep your knees at a 90 degree
- Use a good chair with lumbar support. If this is insufficient you can use a lumbar roll, a rolled up towel or a small pillow for extra support.
- Try to have 2-3 inches of space between the back of your knees and the chair.
- Your chair should be adjusted so that your elbows rest by your side at a 90 degree
angle, parallel with the floor. Your wrists need to be resting on the key board in a neutral position (not flexed or extended).
- Both the monitor and key board should be placed directly in front of you.
- The top of the monitor must be at or slightly below eye level. You can either adjust the height of your chair or raise the height of the monitor using an old phone book.
- Ideally you should be seated at arm’s length from the computer screen.
- An adjustable swivel chair makes it easier to move about and reach for things at your desk.
- If you are on the phone a lot, it would be better to use a headset so that you are able to use the computer or write without straining your neck.
- If you are transcribing documents attach a document holder to the screen so that you are not straining your neck.
- Adjust the lighting at your work so there is minimal glare to reduce eye strain. It may be necessary to turn off the over-head lights and use task lights at your desk. You may also need a glare-screen on your computer.
- Remember to take regular breaks, where possible avoid sitting for more than one hour at a time. Take every opportunity to leave your chair and stand up or walk around for a minute or two. During these breaks remember to stretch out your neck and back.