It’s pretty common to be told that your posture is all wrong when you’re sitting down. Normally, it’s from companies that want to sell you chairs they’ve designed that give you the perfect posture without any fuss, but there is some substance to all this talk of sitting properly.

If you want to avoid injuring yourself while at work and having to take time off to recover, then considering how you position yourself and your computer equipment when sitting down is pretty essential. While these tips may be small and simple, they can make a big difference to your comfort at work. After all, when you’re in the midst of a stressful day on the job, the last thing you want is neck or back ache distracting you from the work that you need to get done.

Working up to eight hours a day, five days a week, can be killer on your back, especially if you’re not taking enough breaks to move around and stretch your legs. To reduce the amount of damage you’re doing to your spine when sitting at the computer, make sure you push your hips back into the chair as far as they’ll go and avoid slouching.

All chairs suitable for the office should be adjustable, allowing you to change the height so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are slightly lower than your hips. Provided your chair allows it, you should also adjust the back so it’s reclined at a very slight angle and the armrests so that your shoulders are relaxed while you’re working.

All of these changes should allow you to sit comfortably and be in the optimum position to get work done without straining your muscles. Being comfortable at your desk means more than just sitting correctly, though. Everything around you needs to be arranged in a way that makes it easy to reach while still being a reasonable distance away.

We’ve talked before about organising your desk for optimum efficiency, where we discussed important points like how far away your computer should be to avoid eye stress. Also important to consider is where your computer sits in relation to the window in order to reduce glare on the screen. Being at right angles is preferred, but you should also adjust the screen angle and controls so that the brightness of the screen correlates with the other light sources in the room.

When it comes to your keyboard, an articulating tray can be beneficial because it brings the keyboard close to you without you needing to lean over your desk. These trays should be adjustable enough that they allow ample leg room and can be set at the same level as your arm rests.

In terms of how your keyboard should be tilted, it’s all dependent on your hands and wrists which need to be straight. If you’re sitting with your chair slightly reclined then the keyboard should be tilted towards you, with the reverse being the case the more than you lean forward (although this is not advised for retaining comfortable posture).

If you take note of these points then you should find your comfort levels at work rising by the day. However, none of this is going to be truly beneficial unless you make sure to take a break from your desk every so often. A minute or two every half hour to an hour should keep you from becoming restless and keep your brain from feeling overworked. Looking away from the computer during this time will also help you avoid eye fatigue and ensure you make it through the day as painlessly as possible.

James Darvill

James is a passionate scriptwriter and reluctant poet with a talent for the dystopian. When he’s not staying up late watching the Simpsons he’s beating the world at Mario Kart, always with a glass of wine in hand.
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