8 Tips to Better Posture at the Desk
Dr Jonathan Harbis
With time spent in front of a computer, now 9 hours per day for the average Australian, posture and desk ergonomics are greatly impacting our comfort and quality of life. Generally, people are now spending more time in front of a computer than they are sleeping. When this is coupled with 1 in 3 Australians using an electronic device resulting in over 20 billion texts being sent per year, device related back pain is unfortunately a present and future problem. Whilst we cannot address all problems arising from the use of electronic devices, we can adjust our computer desk environment.
- COMFORT is crucial.
- ARMRESTS must be capable of allowing elbows to rest on them comfortably without causing shoulders to be elevated near ears or too low that it causes you to slouch. Armrests need to be small enough that you can reach your keyboard on your desk while still having elbows at your side.
- BACKREST preferably reaches shoulder height and has lumbar adjustment. If there is no lower back adjustment then you must test the seat to ensure it gives you enough support.
- HEIGHT ADJUSTABLE. The chair must be height adjustable or specifically suited to your desk/work station. The chair must be capable of being high enough that with your elbows bent at 90 degrees at your side you can comfortably reach your keyboard.
- BASE of seat needs to be small enough that even when you are as far back in your seat as possible, your knees are not touching the front of the base of the seat.
- FOOT REST if the desk is higher than required and feet cannot touch the ground then a foot rest is a good idea as it prevents slouching by ensuring low back is kept in contact with the back of the chair.
- The top of the screen should be either in line with your eyes or slightly below eye level. This ensures your cervical spine maintains a neutral position.
- If possible have the screen directly in front of the seat. If using more than one screen, then ensure the screens are of equal distance to your face when looking straight ahead and ensure they are as close together as possible
Keyboard and mouse: