How to reduce the risk of long term injury at your desk
At home, at school or college, at work, or on the move, more and more of us are spending large parts of our day using a computer.
When sitting and concentrating on the screen for so long, we may not be aware that the position we are in could be harmful to our spine. Bad habits and incorrect posture can lead to short-term pains and aches that can turn into long-term injuries.
Always take the time to adjust your chair, particularly if you share your computer with others following the 7 steps below:
- Balanced head, not leaning forward.
- Arms relaxed by your side.
- Forearms parallel to desk.
- Sit back in chair ensuring good back support.
- Screen approximately arms length from you.
- Top of screen about eye level.
- Space behind knee.
- Feet flat on floor or on a footrest
Your seat should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground, your knees bent, but with a slope from your hips to your knees. You should end up with your hips higher than your knees and your eyes level with the top of the computer screen. You may need to put the screen on a stand or even on a ream of paper to bring it to the right height.
Relax when sitting into your chair, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back with your shoulder blades are touching the back rest of the chair.
Arms should be flat and your elbows level with the desk or table you are using. Use a seat with arm rests.
Take regular breaks. When you take a break, walk around and stretch a little; do something completely different.
Remove any obstacles from under your desk to ensure you have enough leg room.