Do you spend the majority of your time at a desk? Do you find it uncomfortable sitting at your current desk setup for long periods of time? Admin and office workers spend approximately 85% of their time at work sitting! So, it’s fair to say having your work station setup optimally is very important, not only for reducing your risk of developing neck and back pain, but for optimal comfort throughout your work day!
Let’s talk about posture! The perfect way to sit doesn’t exist! Our bodies are designed to move, so regular breaks are more important than a specific posture. But in saying that, the most ideal way to sit is in a neutral position, where the weight of the body is evenly distributed. When sitting in a neutral position, the correct postural muscles switch on and I should be able to jump on your shoulders with no issues or collapse! To achieve “neutral” see the tips below!
- Pull up like a puppet, keep your head upright and your chin tucked in! Try to avoid the “chin poke” posture.
- Relax your ribs down so you aren’t arching through your upper back
- Keep your shoulders down and avoid holding the phone between your ear and shoulder!
- Have your elbows bent at 90° and your wrists in neutral
- Keep all your most frequently used items within arm’s reach
The position of your monitor greatly influences the position your neck sits in for the duration of the day! Most people have only one screen, which makes life easier in terms of ergonomics as you just need to ensure it is placed centrally! But when you start to have more than one screen try to decipher which screen you use most, and place it centrally, then place the others to either the left or the right. If you use them both equally try to place them centrally beside each other. Now, your screens should be positioned at a distance of arm’s length and at a height where your eyes are in line with the top third of your screen! If you have a laptop, consider placing it on a stand or on top of a few books!
CHAIR SET UP
As I mentioned above, there is no perfect way to sit, but the most ideal is in a position of neutral. Of course, your chair has a massive impact on this! See the tips on chair set up below!
- Your back should be supported by the backrest with the lumbar support positioned at the natural curve of your back
- The back rest should be positioned at roughly 90-100°
- Your thighs should be fully supported by your chair, with your hips and knees bent to 90-110°
- Your feet should be supported and flat on the floor, if not then on a footrest
AVOID PROLONGED SITTING
Finally, regular breaks are important to ensure your postural muscles are relieved of their duties and to stop your muscles from stiffening up throughout the day.
- Use a cup or a mug rather than a water bottle, so you have to get up more frequently to refill
- Set a reminder on your phone or computer to get up, or at least have a stretch, every hour
- Don’t eat at your desk! Seek the lunch room or find a nice spot outside to sit and eat your lunch
We hope these tips and tricks are helpful! If you do find yourself suffering from desk related neck or back pain feel free to pop in, we are more than happy to help! See our availabilities here.