- Screen Level
The top of your computer screen should be at eye level. This allows the head to be looking straight forward and prevents any forward bending of the neck. A quick way to do this is to stack books under your laptop or monitor until the screen is at the desired height.
Relax your shoulders. Make sure they aren’t rounding forward or hunching up towards your ears. Think about bringing your shoulder blades down and back slightly, to help you maintain a good posture.
You want to make sure that your chair is actually touching your back in order for it to provide support.
Next you want to ensure that the back of your chair does not recline backwards to prevent slouching.Having your chair angled at 90 or near 90 degrees will help maintain an upright posture.
Our low back can be supported by placing a lumbar roll or a rolled-up towel in the curve of your lumbar spine to help maintain its natural curve.
Your forearms should be supported and parallel to the floor. You can achieve this by sitting in a chair with armrests and adjusting the height accordingly or placing your arms on your computer’s supporting surface (ex. Table). Be sure to have a 90-degree bend in the elbows so that your forearms are parallel to the floor. If you are using a laptop and you have the screen elevated, it is best to use a separate keyboard and mouse to maintain this position.
Wrists should be kept in a neutral position and avoid having them in extension. Placing a small rolled up towel under your wrists can help reduce extension and provide the wrists with support.
- Hips and Knees
Both your hips and knees should be at a 90-degree angle allowing your thighs to be parallel to the floor. Make sure that the back of your knees do not touch the edge of the seat knee – there should be a few inches of room between the back of your knee and the chair.
Your feet should be flat on the floor. A stool, footrest, or a stack of books can be used if your feet cannot fully reach the ground.
- Take Breaks
It is important to take breaks not only for your body but for your eyes. For your eyes remember the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look away from your screen for 20 seconds at an object 20m away to reduce the stain on your eyes. Every 30 minutes take a 5-minute body break. Get up, go for a walk and stretch out your neck, shoulders, arms and legs. You may even want to consider alternating your workspace from sitting to standing, but remember to maintain all the supportive positions that you would when sitting.
~ Alex, Physiotherapist