Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Are you sitting correctly at your desk?

Last week, I wrote about lumbago (lower back pain). One of the most common causes of this is ergonomics – the way in which you sit at your desk. Individuals who have desk jobs may end up sitting for hours on end without getting up out of their chairs and if their posture is incorrect, back pain may result. Depending on the chair you sit on or the way you sit, you may experience pain anywhere along the spine.

Firstly, your desk chair must be a good chair with decent back support, especially in the lower back region. Your computer screen should be at eye level and you should not have to tilt your head downwards more than 15 degrees to look at the screen. If your head is tilted downwards all day, it may result in neck pain. The screen should also be directly in front of you, not to one side, as this will cause you to constantly rotate your spine, which may cause pain. Sit with both your feet on the floor, rather than with the legs crossed, as this changes the alignment of your pelvis, which can result in back pain. Your elbows and wrists should be at the same level, with your shoulders relaxed.


It is important to maintain good posture while sitting at your desk. It becomes very easy to slouch over your desk, especially as the day wears on. Therefore, one must constantly remind oneself to sit up, keep the shoulders back and the head looking straight forward.

Finally, movement is essential in preventing bad ergonomics. If you have a desk job, you must get up at least once every hour and walk around a little. Stretching the neck and back periodically will also assist in preventing poor ergonomics. Movement is good for both the mind and body!

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