A large portion of the American population spends their work day seated at a desk or in front of a computer. Poor sitting posture can lead to a variety of disorders including neck and back pain, muscle tightness and soreness, poor circulation, and many other musculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary ailments. Maintaining proper posture while seated is essential to help reduce the risk of developing these conditions. The following list covers several things you can do decrease your risk.
Here are some tips for helping to keep good posture while sitting or working at a desk:
- Sit up straight and align the ears, shoulders, and hips in one vertical line. Your head should not be strained forward in front of your body to read your computer screen. If this is the case, move the screen closer to you.
- Sit with your weight evenly distributed on both hips and your buttocks scooted to the very back of the seat. Legs should be uncrossed and feet should be flat on the floor.
- Use a small, rolled-up towel or a lumbar support pad to help you maintain the normal curves in your Lumbar spine, a.k.a your lower back. Many computer chairs claim to be “ergonomically designed”; however they often lack sufficient Lumbar support.
- Bend the knees at a 90-degree angle, and keep them even with or slightly higher than your hips. A foot rest or stool may be necessary if your knees are below your hips or your legs are dangling.
- Adjust your chair height so you can sit close to the desk, resting your elbows and arms on your chair or desk, keeping shoulders relaxed and the computer monitor at eye level so you can keep your head upright.
- Take a “stretch break” and stand/walk around about every 30 minutes. This change in positions will help to prevent muscles from getting tired, which can lead to slouching and slumping.