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How to Sit at Your Desk | Office Supermarket

How You Should Be Sitting At Your Desk

How Should I Sit At My Desk?

Did you know that sitting at your desk for long periods with the wrong posture can have a serious effect on your health? Across the UK, thousands of staffing hours are lost every week due to poor posture.

But how should your sit at your desk? What’s the optimum sitting position? And are there chairs that can help you to achieve and maintain this position while working at your desk?

There are just a few of the questions we aim to answer in this article. We’ll take a look at posture, sitting position, office furniture and various aids to help you learn how to sit correctly at a desk.

 

Correct and bad spine sitting posture. vector diagram in flat style. correct spine, bad position, correct and bad sit illustration

How to Sit Correctly at a Desk

Sitting in the wrong position for long periods can cause severe back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain and mobility problems. Doing this day after day for months or years has the potential to cause life-changing damage to your spine.

While there is a range of ergonomic office chairs, desks and office aids that can help you achieve and maintain the perfect sitting position, you’ll need to learn HOW to sit before any of these items will deliver the benefits you’re looking for.

The most important advice any office worker can follow is to sit up straight at all times. Of course, this isn’t always easy. In fact, some people find it completely unnatural. But once you follow these basic principles of good sitting posture, you can take full advantage of the various ergonomic furniture available.

  • Keep your spine straight — don’t slouch
  • Keep your feet firmly planted on the floor
  • Keep your forearms and thighs parallel to the floor
  • Keep your eyes around an arm’s length away from your monitor
  • Try to keep your upper body at around an 80-degree angle with your lower body

Once you can maintain this sitting position for long periods, you can look for various items of furniture that will make you more comfortable throughout the working day.

Correct Screen Height 

Most office workers interact with their computer monitor more than anything in the workplace. And because you do this while you’re seated, you must ensure that your screen is at exactly the right height.

As a simple rule of thumb, try to position your monitor in a way that puts your eyes level with the top of the screen. The quickest way to do this is with an adjustable monitor. However, perhaps a more sustainable way is to adjust your office chair.

But if you’re particularly shorter or taller than average, a standard office desk might make achieving this difficult. Thankfully, a height-adjustable desk allows you to change the height of your work surface using either a manual or electric adjustment mechanism.

The Advance Height Adjustable Desk is perfect for everyday use, as you can make the slightest height adjustments with the touch of a button. It’s also lightweight and relatively easy to move, which is perfect for hotdesking environments.

But what the perfect desk height is for you? Thankfully, you don’t need to go too far for the answers. The standard height is 28 inches — for people between 5’8” and 5’10” in height. But as a simple rule of thumb, your forearm should be at a 70-degree angle to your upper arm when it’s resting on the desktop. 

Mouse Mat 

A lot of people suffer from repetitive strain injuries when they spend most of their working days using a keyboard. Unfortunately, no amount of desk height or office chair adjustments will change that.

Learning how to sit properly at a desk is a great start, but you can protect your wrists from pain and mobility issues by investing in a mouse mat. 

To keep your wrists straight and fully supported, look for mouse mats that deliver raised support. This will help to prevent repetitive strain injuries if your job entails a lot of typing.

Chair Height

Choosing a high-quality ergonomic office chair is only the beginning of achieving the ideal sitting position at an office desk. For total control over your exact posture, choose a chair that allows quick and incremental changes to the seat height.

Your forearms should be able to rest on your desktop and reach your keyboard with minimal effort. And you should be able to maintain this position while keeping both feet firmly on the floor.

One of the most highly rated height adjustable chairs available from Office Supermarket is the Chachi Mesh Office Chair. Thanks to its physio-approved design and chrome adjustment arms, finding the perfect combination of chair height and good posture is a quick and simple process.

 

Office person with correct posture sitting at computer desk. right position and distance between screen and character with healthy back at work flat vector illustration. health, ergonomics concept

 

Back Support

Back support and a lumbar mechanism could protect your spine from poor posture and muscle strain. The perfect sitting position involves keeping your back straight and facilitating the perfect ‘S’ curvature of the spine. Back and lumbar support is designed to deliver protection for the lower back — perfect if you spend long hours sitting at a desk.

Take a look at the Maxi Ergo Office Chair for an example of a great office chair that offers targeted lumbar support. Featuring a high, contoured back and an inflatable lumbar pump, this chair can be adapted to the specific dimensions of the user.

Arm Placement 

While armrests aren’t absolutely necessary in order to achieve good sitting posture at a desk, they can make maintaining good posture for long periods a lot easier.

Ideally, your arms should rest level with your desktop —directly in front of you. You should be able to comfortably reach your keyboard without stretching. Fortunately, there are several great office chairs with adjustable armrests available at Office Supermarket.

Guide to Good Computer Posture 

Millions of people in the UK spend several hours a week sitting at a computer screen. And many of these people are sitting in a way that can cause or exacerbate back and shoulder pain. 

Unfortunately, there are several variables to consider when trying to achieve the perfect computer posture. They include

  • Where your feet are
  • How straight your back is
  • How far you are from your computer screen
  • Where your screen sits in relation to your eye level
  • The angle between your forearms and upper arms
  • How high your office chair and desk are

All of these issues and much more are covered in our Guide to Good Computer Posture, which includes practical tips and details of some of our most appropriate office furniture.

FAQ

How close should I sit to my desk? 

Your face should rest an arm’s length away from the surface of your computer screen. You should also aim to position the top of your monitor in line with your eye level.

Is it better to sit higher or lower at a desk?

Neither. You should sit in a position that allows you to keep your back straight, your feet planted on the floor and your forearms parallel to the ground. You should set your chair height accordingly.

What is the healthiest position to sit in?

To protect your spine and the muscles and ligaments in your back, you should sit straight with your shoulders back. Your arms should rest on your desk, your feet should rest flat on the floor and your upper body should be at around an 80-degree angle with your lower body.

How should I sit at my desk and study?

Studying at your desk will be a lot more productive if your back is supported and your posture is good. Sit straight with your back supported, your feet on the floor and your head an arm’s length from your screen. If you’re writing or reading, make sure you’re not stretching, bending your neck or slouching.

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