By: Ashlee Jones
Maintaining proper posture can make a big difference in your overall health. One of the places where we struggle to maintain proper posture is the workspace.
Americans spend approximately 8.5 hours each day facing screens, such as TVs, computers, cellphones, and GPS devices, according to the Council for Research Excellence.
This amount of time spent seated can cause increased stress on the joints and muscles if proper posture is not maintained.
Here are some easy-to-follow steps for improving your posture within the workspace:
- The computer screen should be at eye level or slightly below eye level. This will decrease the strain on the neck muscles from looking up and down multiple times throughout the day.
- Sit facing forward with the computer screen directly in front of you. If you have an L-shaped desk, don’t place your monitor in the corner as this will cause increased strain on the neck and lower back from having to twist to face the monitor.
- Adjust your chair height. Make sure that your feet are flat on the floor with hips slightly higher than knees and your bottom all the way back in the chair. This will allow for optimal spine alignment. Placing a rolled-up towel in the lower back will increase the natural curve of the spine and improve support throughout the body. Adjust the chair arm rests so your elbows are supported. This will decrease strain on your neck and allow the muscles to relax.
- Use a rolling keyboard tray. This will keep the wrists in a neutral position and will improve upper-body posture by making sure you do not have to perform a shoulder shrug to reach the keyboard as you would if it were on the top of the desk.
- Keep everything within an arm’s reach. You shouldn’t feel like you have to lean forward to reach items on the desk. If your back is no longer supported by the rolled-up towel, you have reached too far.
- Most important, take breaks and get up from your chair. Doing this multiple times throughout the day will increase blood flow and decrease fatigue.
Take the time to look at your workspace and see if there are some changes you can make to improve your posture. You may be surprised at how much better you feel after putting these tips to use.