Adults spend up to 12 hours a day in front of a computer or TV screen. Between work, social media, and gaming, it’s a huge portion of our day. Unfortunately, without proper sitting posture at the computer, these long hours can take a toll on your body.
So if you have experienced body stiffness, soreness, and overall discomfort from bad posture at the computer, it’s time to rethink how you sit. Below are a few essential tips on improving your sitting posture and ultimately helping you avoid health problems associated with bad posture.
Why It Matters
So, why is good posture at the computer so important anyway? Maybe you’ve been sitting the same for years and only recently noticed any issues. When you don’t sit up straight at your computer, your spine spends hours in a misaligned position. It can put stress on your muscles and joints resulting in stiffness, soreness, and fatigue later in the day.
Poor posture can make arthritis pain worse, lower blood circulation, and even put you in a bad mood. The way you sit affects more than just your neck and spine, too. Prolonged sitting can cause jaw pain, hip pain, and cause headaches.
But, wait! There’s some good news too. By changing your sitting posture you can reverse the negative effects. Even if you have been slouching over for years. Want to learn how to sit at a computer? Keep reading.
Proper Sitting Posture At Computer
Here’s what you need to know about proper sitting posture. First, adjust your chair so that your feet can comfortably lay flat on the floor. Your knees should be in line with your hips so that the top of your legs are parallel.
The back of your chair should be adjusted to a slightly reclined position (about 100-degree angle). Sit with your hips back in the chair and your lower back supported. You can use a lumbar support cushion like the Everlasting Comfort to support your lower back while sitting.
Place your keyboard or your laptop directly in front of you and close to your body. The computer monitor should also be in front of you and at least 2 inches above your eye line. If possible, sit about arm’s length away from the monitor screen. Your forearms should be parallel to the floor.
Finally, take a deep breath and relax your chest and shoulders. Avoid letting your shoulder hunch up towards your ears. Throughout the day take deep breaths and relax your shoulders.
Now that you know how to sit at a computer, consider investing in equipment that can further assist your posture. In addition to lumbar support pillows, proper office chairs make a huge difference in posture.
When looking for a computer chair, find something that is adjustable so that you can find the perfect height for your chair in relation to your desk and computer. Look for comfortable, supportive padding on the chair and seat cushion.
The general shape of the chair should mimic the normal curvature of the spine. Top-of-the-line computer chairs can be expensive but are worth the investment to improve your posture and spine health.
If you typically work with a laptop you can purchase a computer lift which will allow you to adjust how high the monitor display is in relation to your line of sight. You can also consider wrist support devices if you experience symptoms of carpal tunnel.
Importance of Taking Posture Breaks
Long hours on the computer are sometimes inevitable. But one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health is to take short breaks throughout the day. If possible, taking a short break to stand or walk every 30 minutes is optimal.
Take a few longer, 5-10 minute breaks as well. You can walk around, stretch, and relax your posture. Practice deep breathing and refocus before getting back into proper computer sitting posture.
If you are serious about committing to better posture, there are activities you can do to improve your sitting posture. Certain yoga poses, like child’s pose and standing cat cow can help release tension built up from bad posture.
Other exercises like plank and glute bridges can improve your core strength which allows you to stay in the proper sitting posture for longer during the day. You can also try an exercise called wall angels. Much like making snow angels, this exercise requires your back to be flat against the wall while you extend your arms and slowly move them up and down to the side of your body.
Adding a few of these exercises to your typical exercise routine or during your short breaks will help you establish and keep better posture when sitting.
Posture when sitting at a computer is important simply because we spend so much time in this position. But you should also think about your posture when you are standing or sitting and using other devices like your cellphone.
When standing, you want to have a straight line between your ear, shoulder, and hip from the side. Keep your chest out and shoulders back.
When you are using your cellphone, avoid holding the phone at the waist or belly-button level. When you hold the screen this low, it puts unnecessary strain on your neck. Try raising your phone up to eye level allowing your neck to stay in a stable position.
Improve Your Health, Even While Sitting
We all know that a sedentary lifestyle isn’t good for our health. But if you’re going to spend most of your day on the computer, you should at least have proper sitting posture at the computer.
Buying the proper equipment, taking time to adjust your posture, and taking breaks from sitting will alleviate pain associated with bad posture. Give it a try and see for yourself! Interested in more helpful health and lifestyle information? Check out our other blogs and start learning today.
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