Your Guide to Good Computer Posture
Do you know how to sit at a desk properly? If you don’t, you could be at risk of long-term back pain — and all the other ailments associated with bad posture. The good news is that these problems are easily avoided if you adopt the correct office posture while at your desk or computer.
We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks designed to help you adopt a proper sitting posture at a computer. Implement them today, and you could save yourself a lot of pain and discomfort in the future.
Why is Good Posture so Important?
How to sit at a desk properly is more than just a module in a health and safety training session — it’s crucial to your health and wellbeing at work. With the correct desk-chair posture, you can avoid these common problems.
Eases the Strain on Back Muscles
If you’re stretching at your desk or sitting in a hunched position, your back is in an unnatural position. Over a period of time, these postures can cause the muscles in your back to tense for prolonged periods. Eventually, you’ll start to feel pain in your back — which can worsen significantly over time. But adopting a good computer posture with the help of an ergonomic computer and chair can prevent these issues before they arise.
Protects Your Back from Injury
Sitting in the correct position while using a computer at a desk can protect your back from chronic pain and serious conditions. If you sit in a hunched position for hours at a time, you run the risk of developed curvature of the spine. Slipped discs, pulls, tears and strains as a result of bad posture at a desk can all lead to long-term issues — some of which require medical intervention.
The Risks of Poor Posture
If you don’t know how to sit at a desk properly with the help of office chairs for back pain, you run the risk of developing long-term pain.
The correct office posture keeps both your back and your neck straight. It will ensure you’re not looking up or down at your screen and putting unnecessary pressure on your neck muscles. But if your neck is in an unnatural position for long periods at your desk, neck pain and a range of related issues could develop relatively quickly.
Both your forearms and your wrists should rest on the desk while you’re typing on a keyboard. If they don’t, the muscles can be forced to work harder and more often — leading to strain and pain. Some people can develop a very painful and uncomfortable condition called carpel tunnel syndrome. In serious cases, the damage to the wrist is so severe only surgery can deliver long-term relief from the pain and discomfort.
How to Sit At Your Desk Correctly
If you know how to sit at your desk properly, you can maintain a correct posture at work and avoid the back, neck and wrist pain that affects so many office workers in the UK.
Keep Your Monitor at Eye Level
To ensure you’re not stretching your back or neck while looking at your screen, make sure your computer monitor is at eye level when you’re sitting upright and straight. If your monitor is too low or too high, make slight adjustments to your desk and chair. This is why choosing an office chair that can be adapted to your frame is so important.
Use a Mousepad with Wrist Support
If you use a mouse for long periods, your wrist might spend several hours a week in an unnatural position. This is because you need to raise your hand off the desk to operate a mouse correctly. To ensure your wrist remains straight and parallel with the desk, raise it with the help of a mousepad with wrist support.
Keep Your Feet Flat on the Floor
The first thing you should do when learning how to sit at a desk properly is adopt a sitting position that involves planting your feet firmly on the ground. If your back isn’t straight and your upper legs aren’t parallel with the floor at this point, you’ll need to make adjustments to either your desk or your chair.
Use Lumbar Support to Support Your Back
When sitting at a computer for long periods, you should always try to give your lower back as much support as possible. By sitting with your back resting on the chair’s backrest, you can give your spine the support it needs while ensuring it remains straight. If your ideal sitting position leaves a gap between your back and the backrest, you may need to add some form of lumbar support. Alternatively, investing in an office chair with built-in lumbar support should help you to maintain the correct posture at all times.
Keep Keyboard Directly in Front of You
One of the worst things you can do while typing at a desk is stretch or twist while reaching for your keyboard. To minimise the strain on your back, next, wrists and shoulders, place your keyboard an arm’s length away from the edge of your desk. And make sure it’s directly in front of you at all times. If it helps you to remain aware of your keyboard’s position, place some stickers on your desk to outline the perfect alignment.
Use a Headset for Phone Calls
Training your body to automatically adopt the correct office posture takes time. While the perfect sitting position takes time to get used to, it’s well worth the effort. But maintaining the perfect posture is hard when you’re constantly moving or switching between tasks. When you answer a phone call, for example, you may have to stretch to the side of your desk to grab the receiver. Wear a headset to take calls at your desk, and you can remain in your perfect sitting position at all times.
Adjust Monitor Brightness to Avoid Eye Strain
A computer screen that’s either too bright or too dim can cause serious eye strain over time. If your monitor is too bright, you may find yourself squinting. And if it’s too dim, your eyes may be working harder than they need to simply to read what’s on the screen. Take some time to experiment with different settings until your screen brightness is perfect. You can also add a blue light filter to prevent eye strain during long sessions at your computer.
Take a Break and Stretch
If your job allows, try to take a very short break to stretch your muscles and move about every hour or so. You don’t necessarily need to leave your workspace, however. Try standing when you’re using the phone via a headset, for example. And when you’re sitting, stretch your arms above your head, stretch your legs fully and lift both legs off the floor for a few seconds. If you can perform this ritual once an hour, you can reduce the risk of developing work-related muscle injuries.
More Tips on Desk Posture
Once you know how to sit correctly at a desk, there are three things you can do to optimise your posture.
Go For a Walk
A brisk walk during the middle of a hectic day in the office can keep your back and neck muscles strong and supple. Strong and mobile muscles are essential for maintaining a posture that protects your back.
Consider Using an Adjustable Height Desk
Once you know how to sit at a desk properly, you need to know that the desk itself is the right height for your frame. The ideal desk height for you is easy to work out. Simply take your height in inches, add one and change it to centimetres.
If you’re five feet 10 inches, for example, your height in inches is 70. Add the one and change it to centimetres, and your ideal desk height is 71cm. Unfortunately, the average desk height in the UK is around 73cm. But you can solve the problem by investing in an adjustable desk.
Office Supermarket is home to an extensive range of adjustable desks, so there’s an option for every type of office. Take the Cromo Polished Finish Height Adjustable Desk, for example. Stylish and robust, this multipurpose desk is perfect for contemporary office spaces. Made with high-grade steel and finished with a hygienic lacquer, the desk can be adjusted with the help of two anti-collision motors.
Utilise the space in your office efficiently with the Duo Height Adjustable Bench Desk System. Set up for back-to-back desk arrangements and seamless cable management, this premium product can rise or fall at a speed of 40mm per second. So if you utilise a hotdesking system in your office, users will be able to adapt the desk to their height in seconds.
Use an Ergonomic Desk Chair
Understand the ergonomic desk chair meaning, and you can choose a product that’s perfect for your needs. Whether you’re buying for yourself or your team, there are some great options at Office Supermarket. Take the Lumbar Massage Faux Leather Office Chair, for example. This luxurious product is designed for comfort and the maintenance of a good posture. Featuring a high leather back, premium faux leather and a mains-operated massaging system, this chair combines executive elegance with postural support.
The Caracal Call Centre Operator Chair is designed for long periods of sitting in the same position. Featuring adjustable arms, a thick foam seat and a chrome finish, this chair delivers maximum support in the areas you need it most. There’s also lumbar support that can be adjusted to your frame with an adjustable handwheel.
How should you sit in front of a laptop?
Your posture should be exactly the same as if you were sitting at a desktop monitor. Keep your knees flat on the floor and your knees at the same level as your hips. You’ll inevitably be looking down unless you’ve adapted your laptop, so make sure your spine is straight and your arms are lying flat on the desk.
How do I keep a laptop at eye level?
If you search for ergonomic office equipment, you’ll probably come across a range of laptop stands designed to raise the screen to eye level. Some of these products allow you to type using the laptop keyboard. But for the best results, invest in a wireless keyboard so you can use your laptop in the way you’d use a desktop computer.
Why is good posture important for work productivity?
A good posture minimises the strain on the muscles in your back, neck, wrists and shoulders. This minimises the risk of developing pain or mobility issues in these areas which allows you to concentrate on the job at hand… pain-free.
Why do I slouch at a computer?
Slouching at a computer may be due to a bad habit. While it might feel comfortable for a while, you’re more likely to develop pain and mobility problems in the long run. Other reasons for slouching include working at a desk that’s at the wrong height for your frame and placing your keyboard too far away.