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5 Tips for Maintaining Good Desk Posture

What’s the best desk posture? If you work at a desk job you’ve thought about how much time you spend sitting at your desk. Maybe you’ve even felt some aches and pains that you associate with sitting too long in your office job. While your job may require you to be at a computer for hours each day it doesn’t mean you’re sentenced to a life of back, neck or arm pain. Here are some tips for positioning yourself and maintaining good desk posture.

5 Tips for Maintaining Good Desk Posture

Remember Good Desk Posture

Remember when your mother used to say, “don’t slouch!”. Well, sometimes moms know what they’re talking about.

Our spines have a natural curvature to them. The spine is naturally curved forward in the neck area, toward your back in your middle back and curves again toward your front in your lower back region. When we slouch we are changing this natural shape to our spine. While our spine is designed to allow for this movement, slouching for a long period of time can put additional stresses on the joints within our spine.

Next time you’re sitting at your desk remember…sit up straight.

It’s hard for many of us to remember good posture when sitting at a desk. Luckily, there are some tools we can use to help with our posture. The next few items will do just that.

Use Lumbar Support

As we just noted, the lumbar region of the spine curves forward, toward the front of our bodies. Maintaining proper posture means keeping this natural curvature. Many people find that placing a pillow or rolled up towel behind them on a chair helps them maintain this posture.

Chairs with Height Adjustment

Before sit-stand desks were invented the height of most desks was not adjustable. However, not everyone is the same height. So how did a short person and tall person sit at the same desk and both maintain proper posture? The answer was height adjustable chairs. But what is the optimal position of your chair?

Your chair should be adjusted such that your legs rest flat on the floor. In addition, your upper body and the top of your legs should be at about a 90° angle. While you are adjusting your chair, pay attention to where your keyboard is located. Ideally, when using your keyboard, your elbows should be at your sides and your upper and lower arms should form a 90° angle. Adjust the position of the keyboard on your desk so your arms are not strained in an awkward position.

Adjust Monitor Height

Imagine yourself sitting at a table in an elementary school. Now suppose you have to work on a laptop at that short table. How do you think you would position your body to be able to see the screen clearly. Most of us would slouch over so we were eye level with the screen.

Now that’s a drastic example, but it illustrates what we do to our bodies when our monitors are not positioned correctly. Repeat this poor posture over and over again, day after day, for hours on end and you can see why your body may complain.

If our computer monitor is below the level of our eyes we tend to roll our next forward as we look down at it. In addition we may roll our shoulders and slouch our entire upper body. (This is what most of us do while looking at our phones. This “text neck syndrome” is starting to cause big problems for some.)

If you sit up straight in your chair your monitor should be positioned so it’s directly in front of your eyes. If you don’t have an adjustable stand on your monitor something as simple as a box or book underneath the stand can help you position the monitor optimally.

Change Position

Researchers are still trying to understand the overall impact our sedentary lifestyle is having on our bodies. However, most scientists and doctors agree, that being active is better than being sedentary.

But, depending on your job, being active during the day may be difficult. So, what can you do to minimize the impact of working at a desk job? Well, in their studies, researchers have also found that changing positions and taking more frequent breaks can help reduce the impact of sitting for too long.

So, make sure you’re taking frequent breaks. They don’t have to be long breaks but stand up, walk around and grab a drink of water (also good for your body). Or, if you are able, change your position every now and then.



*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery