Do you spend most of your day sitting at a computer? Being hunched over your keyboard for long periods can put stress and strain on your whole body.
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Computer Workstations eTool, focus on sitting with neutral body positioning.
That’s a comfortable working posture, with your joints naturally aligned. Keep your head level or bent slightly forward, in line with your torso. Relax your shoulders, with your upper arms hanging naturally at your sides. Keep your elbows close to your body and bent at a 90- to 120-degree angle.
Your thighs should be parallel to the floor. Your knees should be level with your hips, with your feet slightly forward. You might need a footrest if you can’t keep your feet flat on the floor without moving your thighs out of position.
Ergonomics experts recommend that your keyboard be placed below the level of your elbow and that its base gently slope away from you. This puts your hands in a neutral posture when you reach for the key tops.
Of course, your posture is only as good as your chair. Choose one that offers lumbar support when you’re sitting upright or leaning back slightly. The seat should be well padded to support your hips and thighs. Your feet should be fully supported, too, either by the floor or with a footrest as mentioned before.
Another key to avoiding aches and pains is to get up from your desk for a few minutes at least a few times a day, if not every hour.
Following these posture pointers will help you to guard against repetitive strain injuries and feel less fatigued at the end of your day.
To learn more, visit the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Computer Workstations eTool.