When we are engrossed at work in front of the computer our body posture automatically changes to one of slouching the back, sinking into the chair or curling the body. This is definitely not a good posture and would cause a lot of strain on the muscles and could lead to injury too. We need to consciously maintain a good posture at work to avoid back pain, prevent injury and strain to the knee, reduce headache and boost metabolism. Sitting up straight rather than slouching helps in breathing well which could help improve your concentration levels. Working with the body in a neutral position reduces stress and strain on the muscles, tendons, and skeletal system and reduces your risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder.
One of the common misconceptions of a good posture is to keep your spine totally straight which is not a good posture. The back muscles get strained instead and you end up feeling exhausted soon. Keep your spine and back aligned with the head. The other misconception is people think of posture as sitting stiff which is quite wrong. It is exactly opposite that is needed of regular movement. There is no one ideal position, a posture is different for everyone. Do not judge a posture by how it looks, it is all about how it feels.
Here are some simple tips on maintaining good ergonomics to work comfortably at your desk every day. Every hour take a break of a few seconds at periodic intervals and look away from the computer screen. Never sit in the same posture throughout the day, once in a while stretch your arms, adjust the chair and walk around.
Get a good quality chair with adjustable seat height and back angle. The lower and upper back should be fully supported when sitting in a vertical position or leaning back slightly. Do not sit in the middle or at the edge of the chair instead push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair. Do not cross your legs while sitting. Sit with both the feet on the ground. Keep your knees at about the same height as the hips with the feet slightly forward.
While working on a keyboard keep the forearms parallel to the floor and elbows at the sides; this allows the hands to move easily over the keyboard. Do not rest the arms on the table and bend wrists up or down while working. Instead move the entire arm while typing. Do not keep the mouse too far away from you, which would require you to reach for it repeatedly. Relax your shoulders and don’t tighten them. The head can be at level or bent slightly forward. It should be in-line with your torso. Place your screen at eye level about an arm’s length away.
While speaking on the phone do not tilt your head cradling the phone between the shoulder and head. This will cause a strain in the neck. If your work requires you to spend a lot of time talking on the phone use a headset with a speaker which helps you to be hands free. Apart from maintaining a good posture at work also take some time out and do some exercises which will strengthen your back and body muscles.
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