Most of us spend 8 – 9 hours a day sitting in front of the computer or work, plus a few more hours when we get home. Not only that you feel strains and, sometimes pain in your lower back, shoulders and neck, from sitting long hours, but it can have much more serious consequences over time.
Firstly, let’s see what a bad sitting posture is, and what can we do to improve our posture while sitting – how to attain proper sitting posture at a computer.
Impact Of Poor Sitting Posture
Negative impacts of poor sitting posture at your desk include:
- Rounded shoulders
- Muscle fatigue
- Back, neck, and bodily pains
Overtime these ailments can develop into something much more serious, such as a permanent change in your spinal cord, and increased chances of cardiovascular issues. And plus, sitting for hours slowers your metabolism.
How To Sit Properly
Sitting the right way can help you avoid stress on your muscles and joints that can leave you hurting. Here’s how
- Sit with a back straight (no hunching), your shoulders pulled back and buttock touching the end of the seat.
- Keep your neck and head in an upright angle with your ears aligned with your shoulders. Tilting the head forward just 15 degrees (so-called “text neck”) doubles the amount of pressure on your neck as the weight of your head doubles.
- Avoid leaning on any side. Keep hips even to distribute the weight of the body.
- Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle, and keep your knees even with or slightly lower than hips.
- Keep both feet flat on the floor, or rest them on a footrest if you can’t reach it.
- Don’t sit with your legs crossed, which restricts blood flow.
- Avoid sitting for longer than 30 minutes at a time.
Tips To Help Your Posture
- Support your back
Reduce your risk of back pain by adjusting your chair so your lower back is properly supported.
A correctly adjusted chair will reduce the strain on your back. Get a chair that is easily adjustable so you can change the height, back position and tilt.
- Adjust your chair
Adjust your chair height so you can use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the floor. This can help prevent repetitive strain injuries.
Your elbows should be by the side of your body so your arm forms an L-shape at the elbow joint.
- Rest your feet on the floor
Place your feet flat on the floor. If they’re not, get a footrest, which lets you rest your feet at a level that’s comfortable.
Don’t cross your legs.
- Place your screen at eye level
Your screen should be directly in front of you. A good guide is to place the monitor about an arm’s length away, with the top of the screen roughly at eye level.
To achieve this, you may need a monitor stand. If the screen is too high or too low, you’ll have to bend your neck, which can be uncomfortable.
- Place the keyboard straight in front of you
Place your keyboard in front of you when typing.
Leave a gap of about 10 -15 cm (4 to 6 inches) at the front of the desk to rest your wrists between bouts of typing.
Keep your arms bent in an L-shape and your elbows by your sides.
- Take regular breaks
Don’t sit in the same position for too long. Make sure you change your posture as often as is practicable.
Frequent short breaks are better for your back than fewer long ones. It gives the muscles a chance to relax while others take the strain.
Other Postural Tips
- Incorporate standing periodically into your workflow, such as standing for a few minutes after every 30 minutes of sitting.
- Move periodically, for example walking or doing simple exercises for a couple of minutes after every 30 minutes.
- Ensure your room is well lit without causing glare on your screen. Dim lighting fatigues your eyes more quickly.
- Take eye breaks frequently, by looking at distant objects from time to time.
- Work on your flexibility and stretch
- Strengthen your core muscles
- Improve your sleeping posture or buy a mattress that supports a healthy posture
Writing this article I realised that I’m bending my neck – obviously I have to put monitor on some stand. I’m saying this to show you that we all have to do ‘self check’ from time to time, and make adjucements.
There is no ‘magic pil solution’ for proper sitting posture. You can maintain and/or improve your sitting posture by conscious, everyday efforts, and by that maintain and/or improve the health of your back and neck. I recommend that you practice stretching, preferably every day or at least 2 -3 times a week. If you haven’t read the article on how to ease neck and shoulder pain, you can read it by clicking HERE, and How to improve back flexibility by clicking HERE
Thank you for reading this article. If you have any questions, or want to leave a comment, you can do that in the comment section below this post.
Take care of yourself.