Are you reading this article on your laptop? Staring at this article on your tablet device. How is your posture? Does your neck or upper back get achey?
If you are sitting for long periods of time, stress and strain is placed through muscles, joints and ligaments of the spine. Correct ergonomics and workstation set up has been proven to significantly reduce musculoskeletal injuries associated with poor posture.
Follow our top tips to set up your work station and fix your posture today.
Place your screen/(screens) at eye level
No doubt, you’ve read or heard multiple times to place your screen at eye level. Placing the screen at eye level encourages a natural and neutral head posture. Try dividing the screen up into “vertical thirds”. Your eyes should be level between the top and middle third.
If using two monitors, place them side by side with no gaps. If you use both monitors equally, you should be centered squarely between the two of them.
Your screen should be roughly arms length from your body to prevent eye strain.
Check your keyboard and mouse
Your keyboard and mouse should be placed keeping your elbows by your side and at 90 degrees or less. This will ensure your arms are relaxed and not place extra strain through your neck. Wrist and forearms should rest lightly on the desk.
How long do you spend on the phone?
Consider using a headset or speaker phone where possible. This allows your hands to be kept free to continue typing or take notes. Your phone should be within arms reach of your seat to ensure you do not get the habit of sliding forward on the chair.
Adjust your chair
Your chair should be adjustable. Ensure that you sit back in the chair with your low back and shoulder blades firmly supported. If your chair doesn’t have sufficient support, consider purchasing a lumbar roll.
Feet should be flat at all times and ensure there is a three finger gap between the back of your knees and the chair.
Just like a building, a good foundation set up by your chair and foot position provides a sustainable and ideal posture.
Regardless of your ergonomic set up, try and move every 30 minutes. If you can walk around the office great. Otherwise, regularly getting up into a standing position from sitting is a great way to minimise the ill effects of sitting. Deliberately try to get up to collect printing or make a cup of tea.
Practice good posture
Implementing these changes into your workplace is great starting point. Be sure to continue these good habits and posture on a daily basis.
Physiotherapists are able to thoroughly assess your posture and work station set up. If your work station is contributing to poor posture, Malvern East Physiotherapy has a range of ergonomic services suitable for home offices through to large corporations. Call us today or book online to organise a postural assessment or desk set up to help you keep active and injury free!