Four Steps to Better Work Posture
Do you go home with a stiff neck, headache, or pain in the back or hips? Sitting in a chair for hours at a time with incorrect posture can lead to any or all of these problems. Often with just a few small changes you can be comfortable and pain free at the end of the workday. Here are four easy tips to help you assess and fix your own workstation.
- Can you sit all the way back into your chair and have your feet flat on the floor? Having your chair adjusted so your feet are flat and knees are bent at a 90-degree angle will help assure that your back maintains a good, natural curve and rests in your chair. If you cannot obtain this position you may need a footrest.
- Can you sit in your chair and use your keyboard and mouse without reaching for them? When you are using your keyboard and mouse your arms should be able to stay relaxed at your side, elbows bent at 90 degrees and hands able to float over the keyboard as you type. This is true for your mouse as well.
- Is your monitor at the right height? Now that you adjusted your chair and keyboard you should be sitting fairly comfortably. It’s time to assess your monitor. Doing a lot of looking up and down can lead to tension headaches and neck pain. To adjust your monitor, look straight ahead (in your newly-attained comfortable sitting posture). Do you see the first line of your document? If not, adjust the monitor up or down until you can see that first line without tilting your head. By looking at the first line of the document you are now able to scan down through the document with your eyes, thus limiting the amount of nodding you are doing during your day.
- What about the other stuff on my desk? Anything that you use fairly frequently during your day should be within arms reach without leaning forward or having to stretch your arm to get to it.
With these tips, you should be able to sit at your workstation and feel like your back is fully relaxed into your chair. You can see and reach everything without making your body work too much. Your legs are comfortable since they are fully supported and relaxed.
If you don’t have this feeling something still is not adjusted quite right.Look through the steps again. If you are unable to get comfortable, you could discuss your options with a physical therapist who specializes in ergonomics. They can help assess your workstation and obtain the correct work posture you are dreaming about.