Do you spend most of your day sitting at a computer? Chances are you’re like millions of people who sit hunched over your keyboard for hours on end. Unfortunately, those hours add up putting stress and strain on your whole body. For instance, poor posturecan lead to decreased energy, stress and tension headaches, just to name a few.
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Computer Workstations eTool, focusing on sitting with neutral body positioning is one of the best things you can do.
So what exactly is neutral body positioning?
It’s a comfortable working posture, with your joints naturally aligned. Keep your head level or bent slightly forward, in line with your torso. Relax your shoulders, with your upper arms hanging naturally at your sides. Keep your elbows close to your body and bent at a 90- to 120-degree angle.
Your thighs should be parallel to the floor. Your knees should be level with your hips, with your feet slightly forward. You might need a footrest if you can't keep your feet flat on the floor without moving your thighs out of position.
Ergonomicsexperts recommend that your keyboard be placed below the level of your elbow and that its base gently slope away from you. This puts your hands in a neutral posture when you reach for the key tops.
What about your office chair?
Of course, your posture is only as good as your chair. Choose one that offers lumbar support when you're sitting upright or leaning back slightly. The seat should be well padded to support your hips and thighs. Your feet should be fully supported, too, either by the floor or with a footrest as mentioned before.
Work can be a pain, but don’t let it be a strain.
In addition to practicing good posture, another great way to avoid aches and pains is to get upfrom your desk for a few minutes at least a few times a day, if not every hour. Following these posture pointers will help you to guard against repetitive strain injuries and back pain, as well as feeling less fatigued at the end of your day.
Unfortunately, though, whether its long hours at the office, fun in the summer sun or a rough night’s sleep, back pain can be hard to avoid. The good news is there’s a one-stop care option with Gwinnett Medical Center’s Back Pain Center. You’ll have convenient access to an experienced team of specialists, up-do-date technology and an extensive range of resources and services, all in one location. The Back Pain Center is equipped to provide complete care tailored to suit your unique needs.