With many workers spending 40 hours or more sitting at their computer desks, if they are not sitting correctly it can place a lot of strain on their body. Maintaining good posture is important for both comfort and health. This article explores the correct sitting posture, identifying what workers and employers can do to make their workstations as comfortable as possible.
Support the Spine
To reduce the risk of back pain, the chair must be adjusted so that it supports the lower back. Office chairs should be adjustable, enabling workers to change the height, tilt and back position.
The optimum position while seated in an office chair is with the knees slightly lower than the hips. It is important to avoid sitting with crossed legs, since this can contribute to posture-related problems. If the worker cannot comfortably place their feet flat on the floor, a footrest may be necessary.
Workers should adjust their chair’s height to ensure that their wrists and forearms are straight and level with the floor and that they can reach the keyboard with ease, reducing the risk of repetitive strain injury.
Place the Screen at Eye Level
The screen should be positioned directly in front of the user approximately an arm’s length away, with the top of the monitor at eye level.
If the desk is too low to accommodate this, a monitor stand may be required. If the screen is too low or too high it causes the worker to bend their neck, which can become uncomfortable over prolonged periods.
Screens should be as glare-free as possible. Where there is a glare, holding a mirror in front of the screen can be a useful method of detecting what is causing the issue.
Monitors should be positioned to avoid reflection from sunlight or overhead lighting. Where glare emanates from windows, it may be necessary to close the blinds.
Workers should adjust their screen’s contrast and brightness to make it easier and more comfortable for them to use.
Poor sitting posture and habits can result in muscle tension and health issues. Nevertheless, with a bit of practice, good posture becomes second nature.
Behaviours to avoid when sitting behind a desk include slouching, hunching over the keyboard, and poking out the chin. Cradling the phone between the shoulder and ear should also be avoided as it places strain on the muscles and other soft tissues, creating a muscle imbalance between the right and left side of the neck over time.
Investing in comfortable, well-designed office furniture not only enhances employee morale and productivity, it also protects their health. As the UK’s leading office furniture retailer, Furniture At Work understands the importance of employers providing every worker with a comfortable and supportive place to sit.
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