If you spend a great deal of your working day at a desk, then sitting incorrectly can put a lot of strain on your muscles and can even lead to injury. There are some simple changes that you can make to the way that you sit at your desk in order to reduce the likelihood of suffering any back problems at a later date.
Ensure that your chair is properly adjusted
If your chair is properly adjusted so that it supports your lumber region, this can help reduce the chance that you will strain your back. Most office chairs can be adjusted easily so you should be able to make any changes that are needed to your current chair.
You should also ensure that you are able to rest your feet on the floor and that your arms are able to rest on the desk when you are using the keyboard. This may mean that you have to adjust the height of your chair and use a footrest if your feet don’t quite reach the floor.
Place the screen at the correct height
The top of your monitor should be at eye level. This can help you avoid straining your neck by having to raise or lower your head constantly to view the screen. The monitor should be placed an arm’s length away from where you are sitting as this can also help to reduce neck strain by ensuring that the monitor is in your natural line of vision. A monitor stand may be needed to make sure that the screen is at the correct height.
Position the mouse and keyboard correctly
If you use the keyboard a lot during the day, then you are more likely to develop a strain in your wrists if you are not typing correctly than if you had everything set up the way it should be. You should keep your wrists straight while typing and allow yourself enough room in front of the keyboard to be able to rest your wrists.
Ensuring that your keyboard is properly positioned also means that you are less likely to be hunched over the keyboard, which can ease the strain on your back. Aim to have the T and Y keys on your keyboard aligned with the centre of your body. Your mouse should be kept within easy reach too so that you do not have to stretch to use it.
Keep objects that you use most often close by
Objects that you use regularly while at your desk should be kept close by so that you are not constantly stretching and straining to reach them. These objects will probably include your mouse, and also stationary such as pens and staplers.
Telephones are also a common piece of equipment that is often placed in a position where you would have to stretch to reach it. You should be able to lift the handset without having to move any part of your body other than your arm. If you spend a lot of time talking on the phone while using the computer, then a headset may be needed as you could suffer neck strain from cradling the phone between your neck and shoulder while on the computer.
Following these simple steps can make sitting at your desk much more comfortable and will significantly reduce the risk of you developing a muscle strain or injury. If you do need extra equipment such as a footrest or monitor stand, then you should speak to your employer. It is their responsibility to ensure that you have all the equipment that you need in order to carry out your work safely.