A quick walk around any office will soon show that a significant majority of office workers are sitting badly at their desk. This can lead to a multitude of musculoskeletal problems. The best time to address your sitting posture at work is before you have any problems. This will help to prevent any potential musculoskeletal problems in future. If you are already experiencing problems then addressing your sitting posture at work should significantly improve your outcome.
The picture below is the ideal desk based set up to improve your posture at work:
Try following the simple steps below to try to achieve this:
- Set your chair height so that your elbows are slightly higher than your wrists.
- If your feet are not flat on the floor get a footrest
- Sit close to the desk
- If possible adjust your chair so the backrest supports you but is flexible when you push back
- Place your mouse and keyboard within 4 cm from the edge of the desk
- DO NOT PLACE PAPER IN FRONT OF KEYBOARD AND LEAN OVER IT TO TYPE
- Position monitor 1 arms length away from you
- Position monitor so top 1/3 is eye level
- Get up and walk around regularly through day
- If using a laptop – use a stand for the laptop along with a separate mouse and keyboard
It is also important to make sure that you sit back in your chair and avoid perching and leaning forwards. Research has shown that leaning forward can increase the disc pressure in your lower back significantly.
How does laptop use affect posture at work?
Laptops are only suitable for temporary use and are not recommended for an office set-up. A docking station for your laptop with a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse is the best solution. If this is not possible then place your laptop on a stand (specific laptop stands can be purchased) and use a separate keyboard and mouse.
If you need help for a better work station set-up, please click to find out more about our ergonomic assessments. Alternatively, get in touch with your local PhysioActive clinic to arrange an appointment.
Thanks for reading! This post has been written by PhysioActive physiotherapist Jenny Johnson B.Sc (Hons), Physiotherapist, Manual Therapist, Ergonomist.