Are you sitting comfortably? You might think so, but bad posture at your desk and a poorly adjusted chair can cause long term damage to your overall health, including back pain, neck problems and RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury)
With this in mind Workable Solutions has produced a free guide to help you improve your working position and posture to minimise risk of injury whilst using a computer. We’ve also created a second guide to help you choose the right office chair for you.
Both of these guides are available for you to download free of charge.
The guides are in PDF format and can be downloaded below:
Ten Tips for good sitting posture
- Adjust the height of your chair relative to the height of your desk. When you are sitting upright with your elbows by your side, your elbows should be just above desk height.
- You should sit with your feet flat on the floor below or just in front of your knees. If your feet do not reach the floor comfortably, you should use a footrest. Make sure that the footrest is large enough to support your feet and that it gives you a firm base, similar to the floor.
- The backrest of the chair is meant to support your trunk. For keyboard work it should be adjusted to allow you to sit about 5° reclined.
- If the armrests of your chair can be adjusted they should be positioned at elbow height, measured when you are sitting upright. If they do not adjust and are not at the correct height you should not lean on them.
- Move your chair in close to the desk. You should not be able to put more than one fist between your stomach and the front edge of the desk.
- The monitor should be directly in front of you. Remember that the larger the screen the further away it should be from your eyes.
- The monitor height should be adjusted so that the top of the screen is at eye level when you are sitting upright.
- The keyboard should be directly in front of you, parallel to and only a few inches away from the front edge of the desk. Do not be tempted to rest your wrists on the desk in front of the keyboard.
- The mouse should be close to the front edge of the desk on either side of the keyboard.
- Documents that you need to refer to while using the keyboard should be raised and angled towards you on a document slope.
© Susan Mitchell 2012
Points to consider when choosing an office chair
- The chair must be height adjustable. A height range of 480-550 mm should accommodate most people working at a standard height desk.
- There should be five castors or glides suitable for the floor covering.
- The seat should be the correct depth and width for the user with a rounded front edge to reduce pressure under the thighs. Check that the covering is non-slip and that the seat padding is thick and comfortable but not too soft. If the seat can tilt forward, independently from the backrest, this could be beneficial, but it must lock in position.
- The backrest should be about 500mm in height and shaped to conform to a human spine! There should be a moderate, height adjustable, lumbar curve. (If it is too great, it would be uncomfortable and if it is too low it would push the user forward on the seat.) The backrest should tilt backwards, independently from the seat and must lock in position.
- Armrests maybe useful but must be height adjustable. They should not prevent the user sitting close enough to his or her desk. Make sure that they are not fixed too far out to the side.
- All the controls should be easily adjustable from the sitting position.
- Head and/or neck rests are seldom necessary and if not positioned appropriately can cause problems.