Sitting Pretty: Your Guide to Healthy Posture
Finding yourself slumped over your computer? Read on for tips to avoid poor posture while working.
Chances are you spend most of your waking hours working in front of a computer, sitting in a car or relaxing in front of a TV. It can be very easy to fall into bad posture habits without even realizing it. The DMG Physical and Occupational Therapy team has organized a checklist to help you better design your workspace so you can reclaim control over your body in order to look better, feel better, work more efficiently and avoid developing musculoskeletal disorders and chronic pain. If you are already noticing nagging neck and back pain after your work day, our PT/OT Team is available to help. Talk to your physician today about how Physical or Occupational Therapy may be an option to for reaching your goal of restored function, mobility and reduced pain in your daily activities.
Click here to view our infographic which illustrates the correct way to sit at your computer vs. the incorrect way. Feel free to print the graphic and adhere to your computer monitor as a reminder to check your posture throughout the day.
To help guide you, check off the following items to ensure you are positioning yourself in a way that will help you avoid slouching and straining the muscles and ligaments in your spine. The bonus? You'll make yourself healthier and strengthen your core by making the modifications from the list below.
- Make sure your head and neck are in-line with the rest of your body.
- Your head, neck and trunk should face forward with no twisting motions to reach your computer.
- Your computer monitor should be placed 20 inches from your eyes and the monitor should be at eye level.
- Position your trunk so it is perpendicular to the floor (it is okay to lean back into a back rest, however you should not lean forward).
- Check to be sure your shoulders and upper arms are in-line with the rest of your body and generally perpendicular to the floor. Shoulders and arms should remained relaxed (not elevated or stretched forward).
- Upper arms and elbows should rest close to the body rather than extending outward.
- Forearms, wrists, and hands should be straight and in line at approximately a 90 degree angle.
- Make sure your thighs are positioned parallel to the floor; lower legs should be perpendicular to the floor (thighs need clearance so they do not hit the desk above them).
- Knees should create a 90 degree angle.
- Place your feet flat on the floor or on a stable footrest.
- See that the backrest of the chair provides support for your lower back, it needs to be touching the lower back in order to offer adequate support.
- The seat front should not press against the back of your knees and lower legs.
- Make sure the seat has cushioning and is rounded with a waterfall front.
- The armrests on your chair should support both of your forearms while you perform computer tasks and not interfere with movement.