Top tips to avoid bad posture at your desk

We spend more and more time at our desks and this can lead to serious postural problems. We’ve got some simple tips to improve your posture, help you sit more comfortably and to avoid injury.

Adjust your chair

A chair adjusted to the right position for you reduces back strain. Ideally, you should have a chair where you can change the position of the back, the height and which can tilt. You should sit with your knees and hips level.

Keep your feet flat on the floor

Keep your feet flat and DON’T sit with them crossed. This can lead to posture issues.

Place your screen at eye level

Your screen should be directly in front of you. A good guide is to place the monitor about an arm’s length away, with the top of the screen roughly at eye level. To achieve this you may need to get a stand for your monitor. If the screen is too high or too low, you’ll have to bend your neck, which can be uncomfortable.

Position the keyboard properly

Your keyboard should be directly in front of you when typing. Leave a gap to rest your wrists when you are not typing. Ideally, your wrists should be straight when typing. You can use a wrist rest to keep your wrists level with the keys.

Watch your mouse!

Some people find a mouse uncomfortable, because it twists their wrist. You can use a rollerball or other types of mice instead. Or you can buy speech recognition software, where you can control your computer verbally. Slowing your mouse down reduces hand muscle tension in your hand. Keep the mouse close and use a mouse mat with a wrist pad to keep your wrist straight and avoid bending.

Reduce screen glare

You can check the source of the glare on your screen by a mirror in front of. Move the monitor to avoid reflection from internal lighting and sunlight. Use curtains or blinds to help and table lamps are better than overhead lights, as they reduce glare. You can also  reduce the  brightness or contrast on your screen via the control panel on your computer.

Wear tri-focals

Bifocals can make using the computer difficult, as you should be able to look straight ahead at the screen without moving your head up and down. You can get tri-focal glasses, which help you look straight at the screen. Without computer eyeglasses, many people can  end up with  eye strain and headaches and they also try to compensate by leaning forward, or by tipping their head to look through the bottom portion of their glasses, which can lead to sore necks, shoulders and backs. Ask your optician for advice.

Watch out for phone strain

If you talk on the phone for long periods, try to use a headset or the handsfree option. If you hold your phone under your ear, it will strain the muscles in your neck, back and shoulder and eventually shorten and weaken your neck muscles on one side and lengthen them on the other. Eventually, you’ll be lopsided! If you must hold the phone, do it with your hand.

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