Computer Workplace Posture and Ergonomics Tips
Updated: Mar 5, 2020
Computer Posture - Why It Matters
There are some general guidelines to follow when setting up a good computer workspace. Some of them cost money, but most of them are easy changes that you can make without spending a penny! The main goal in making these changes is for you to put your body in the most comfortable position possible.
To create great computer workspace posture:
You: your body should be in the most comfortable position possible. Try to ensure that you shoulders are down and back, and your head is facing forward without being tilted to one side. You should plant your feet on the floor, without crossing your legs. And don’t forget to keep your chin up!
Your Chair: you should have a chair that supports the arch in your low back. Adjust your chair height so that you can plant your feet on the floor with a 90 degree bend in your knees. The arm rests should allow a 90 degree bend in your elbows with your shoulders down.
Your Desk: your desk height should be such that your elbows are just at or above the desk with a 90 degree bend in them. You should be able to keep your shoulders down and your elbows close by your sides. You should feel like your elbows are sitting comfortably on the desk surface, without leaning on them.
Your Wrists: when typing, you should have a “neutral” wrist. This means that there is no bend at your wrist. Bending at the wrist for hours and hours is a main cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is inflammation at the wrist joint. You can help to prevent this syndrome by having a gel-based supportive pad. You should rest your wrists on the supportive pad at the level of your keyboard.
Computer: your computer height should be so that the top of the monitor is 1-2 inches above eye-level. You can put a book under the monitor to raise it.
Phone: you should be using a cordless headset if you are on the phone for more than 1 hour per day total. This ensures that you will not have your head tilted for large amounts of time while talking on the phone and trying to perform other tasks.
Breaks: taking frequent breaks ensures that your body has the energy to sit up straight while working. Make sure that you are taking a walk around the office at least once an hour. You can set a reminder on your computer to make this easy to enforce.
Water: just like taking breaks, drinking enough water is important to help prevent tiredness throughout the day and to ensure you have enough energy to maintain good posture. It’s easy to forget to switch from coffee to water at some point in the day. Make sure that you are drinking at least 2 cups of water for each cup of coffee that you drink just to replenish those fluids. On top of that, a good guideline to use is to drink 20 times your weight (kg) in mL’s. For example, if you weigh 65 kgs, then you should drink approximately 1300 mL per day. If you are exercising, you will have to increase your water intake accordingly. I like to add a packet of crystal lite to my water to make it taste good, so find whatever works for you!
Test Your Knowledge!
Below are some photo examples of what not to do. Can you point out what is wrong with his posture in these pictures?? If you can, then good job!
Author: Casey Campbell BSc., D.C.