With present circumstances requiring more people than ever to work from home, there’s no better time to discuss the importance of maintaining healthy posture while at work. Objectively, many of us will be spending the majority of our workday sitting down. Whether it’s at a desk, or at a dining table or kitchen counter, the chances are you’re working with a laptop or desktop computer in these spaces.
Many of us are creatures of bad habit, and the posture we adopt while sitting for hours at a time can lead to back pain and other long-term complications. Below, we will break down several of the steps you can take to make sure your work posture is safe, comfortable, and productive. As you read, try examining your own workspace!
1) Your wrists and forearms should be kept straight
Relax your shoulders and keep your arms parallel to the floor, with a minimal bent at the wrist. Having an office chair with a proper backrest and armrests can do wonders for promoting this posture. You should also consider purchasing a keyboard with a slightly raised angle (or adjustable legs.) Gel supports for your wrists can be very helpful here!
2) Keep your feet flat on the floor and parallel to each other
It’s natural to want to shift your feet around after long periods of time, but it’s much healthier for your posture to keep them in the position mentioned. Consider wearing shoes without high heels or using a footrest, especially if you have a tall desk.
3) Keep your spine straight
Don’t lean forward in your chair. Make sure it has a decent backrest and that you sit with your back constantly resting on the backrest. You should ideally have your chair positioned as close to your desk as possible. Your computer screen should also be angled backward slightly (5-10 degrees) and your head positioned 50-70 cm away from the screen.
Ensure that the top of your screen is at eye level for you. Consider using something to elevate your screen if this is not the case. Try not to look down at your keyboard for extended periods of time (being able to touch-type is a real advantage here!)
4) Take regular breaks for your eyes and back
Looking at something close to your vision (such as a computer screen) for extended periods can place a real strain on your eyes. Every 20 minutes or so, be sure to look around and spend a minute focusing on something in the distance. If you have a window nearby, this is a good opportunity to admire the scenery.
Every hour or so, you should be sure to stand up and have a quick walk around. Perhaps use the time to take a bathroom break or go and get a drink of water. This is also a good opportunity to get some stretches in!
I hope that you will find these tips handy!