Did you know that more than 31 million Americans experience some type of back pain during the day?
This is usually caused by sitting at a computer for too long and in a bad position. Most of us work in an office and are not at liberty to quit our jobs to alleviate back pain.
What can you do in this case? You just have to learn how to sit at a computer the right way. The correct computer posture has a lot to do with back pain and how you feel in general.
Keep reading this article to learn more about sitting at a computer and how to do it correctly.
Your Eyes Should Be Level With the Top of the Monitor
Many people who spend time in front of their computers also complain of neck pain, not just back pain.
This might be caused by an incorrect neck posture when looking at the screen. They either look upwards or downwards and this makes the neck bend in weird positions.
To prevent neck pain, you should keep your head straight and look forwards. Don’t lift your chin too much or look down at your screen. Your eyes should be on the same level as the top of your monitor for a comfortable viewing experience.
This is easily achieved if you use a desktop PC with a separate screen. If you use a laptop, the display and the keyboard are “glued” together. In this case, you should try putting the laptop on a raised platform and bring the top of the screen in line with your eyes looking forward.
Try to Relax Your Shoulders When Typing at Computer
Your posture shouldn’t be hunched up forwards, bending your shoulders at an odd angle.
Ideally, you should have little to no movement in your shoulders when you type at the computer. This usually means bringing the keyboard or the entire computer setup closer to you.
Keeping your shoulders tense when typing or doing other computer work will make you feel tired quicker. It can also put unnecessary stress on your upper back and cause pain and discomfort in the long run.
Your Feet Should Rest on the Floor
Having an adjustable chair while working on your computer can help a lot.
This type of chair can be adjusted according to your height so your feet don’t dangle in the air for hours every day. Suspending your feet in the air because the chair is too high will affect blood circulation in your legs.
You can prevent that by properly adjusting your chair. If you’re short, you might want to place a footrest on the floor and use it every day.
If you’re very tall, you might want to consider investing in a better chair and even a higher desk as well. You can also use a seat cushion cushion to feel more comfortable while sitting at a computer for long hours.
Some people touch the floor with their toes and believe this is enough to support their legs. This is not true. The entire surface of your feet should touch the floor and rest comfortably. Just touching it with your toes can also lead to blood circulation problems in the future.
Your Arms Should Be Parallel to the Floor
Just as your feet should be parallel to the floor and resting on it, your arms should also be parallel to the floor. This is particularly important when typing. You can rest your arms on the lower platform most offices and desks come with.
Remember that blood needs to circulate freely while you spend hours at your computer every day. If your arms are pointed upwards for any reason, your heart will have a hard time pumping blood against gravity.
If your arms are pointed downwards, they are not supported by anything and you’ll get tired quickly.
Your Computer Mouse Should Be Within Reach
In other words, you shouldn’t stretch too much to grab your mouse. This can become tiring and stressful, especially if you spend 8 hours or more at your computer.
Make sure that your computer mouse is very close to your keyboard and easy to grasp when necessary.
Some people keep the keyboard on the lower platform of the desk and the mouse on the upper surface. This is not a good idea because you have to make up and down motions between typing and using the mouse. This time-waster can ruin your productivity.
The Computer Screen Should Be a Full Arm’s Length From You
Keeping the computer display too close can strain your eyes in the long run. Remember that you’re probably spending 6 or more hours at your computer every day. Focusing on a close object such as your screen for that long will damage your vision.
One way you can get around this problem is to ensure that your screen is at a full arm’s length away from your eyes. Just stretch your arm and grab the monitor.
Is your arm fully stretched? If the answer is yes then you’re golden. If the answer is no, then push the monitor further back to make more space between the screen and your eyes.
Your Chair Should Support Your Lower Back
Your lower back has a natural arch that should be supported by a good chair. Many of today’s ergonomic chairs can be adjusted to push your back slightly forwards or backward. Go for such a chair and adjust it until you feel comfortable.
You can feel that your lower back is supported when you push your hips all the way to the back in the chair. Do you feel tense? If the answer is no then the chair is doing its job properly.
Now You Know How to Sit at a Computer
Hopefully, this article answered your original question: how to sit at a computer.
It’s worth investing in a better chair, a taller desk, or a separate monitor to preserve your health, especially if you work at a computer for a living.
For more useful pieces of advice regarding your posture when working in an office, make sure that you check out the other articles on our website.