Much of the neck and back pain we see at East Coast Physio is due to the way people sit at work. The way we sit can also lead to repetitive strain injuries of the elbow, wrist and hand. We can get away with repetitive movements and poor postures for a while, but after a prolonged period of time these habits can begin to take their toll.
Here are our top 10 tips for sitting correctly at work:
- Sit up tall, with your back firmly against the back of your chair. If your back is not well supported, try adjusting your chair, or placing a cushion behind your lower back.
- You should be sitting firmly on your seat bones. To check if you are sitting correctly, sit on your hands and feel for the two bony bits. Move around and feel these bony bits moving under your hands. You are sitting correctly when all your weight is on these bones.
- Your thighs should be parallel to the floor and should be fully supported by the chair.
- The computer monitor should be at eye level. It should be about an arm’s length away from your body. Try not to allow your chin to poke forwards.
- Your feet should be flat on the floor.
- Your elbows should rest by your sides. They should be at a 90 degree angle, either resting on the arm rests, or on the desk.
- Your wrists should be straight.
- Your mouse should be as close to you as possible. A mouse mat with a wrist support may help to keep your wrist straight and avoid awkward bending.
- Make objects accessible. Position frequently used objects such as the telephone within easy reach.
- Avoid holding the phone between your ear and your shoulder. Use headphones if you spend long periods of time on the phone.