Poor sitting posture can lead to a number of aches and pains not only in the back and neck but also shoulder and arm pain as well as headaches. A slouched posture increases the load on the ligaments and disks in the low back and often also results in a forward head carriage. Overtime this leads to fatigue of these supporting structures in the low back and thus an increased risk of potential injury even with the smallest of tasks due to the decrease in there efficacy. The coincided development of a forward head carriage results in a substantial increase in the activity of the muscles in the back of the neck and between the shoulder blades and therefore headaches and neck pains may result.
We are often asked about the correct sitting posture whilst working at a desk so we have put together a simple check list for your ergonomic work station. Just following these simple tips will help improve your sitting posture and as such the strain on your back, neck and shoulders.
- The seat height should be adjustable
- Your feet should comfortably rest on the floor with your knees slightly below your hips. If your chair is too high to do this then a footstool may come in handy
- The distance between your chair and desk should be 27-30cm
- A good lumbar support to help maintain the arch in your lower back
- Use arm rests if these are available
- Tilt the seat so the front is slightly lower than the back
- The back rest should have an incline of 95 to 105 degrees
- Do not sit down for longer than 30 minutes at a time, just getting up for 30 seconds will reduce fatigue setting in
- Both the keyboard and mouse should be placed so that the elbows are at right angles with a minimal bend in the wrists and the shoulders should be relaxed.
- The centre of the monitor should be at your nose level.
- Use a document holder and a headset.
We also spend a lot of time driving our cars so below are some top tips on how to set up your car seat.
- Good lumbar support
- Recline your seat back slightly
- The seat should be at a height so your knees are level with or below your hips
- Seat should be forward enough so you don’t have to shrug your shoulders to reach the steering wheel