Having bad posture can lead to several health problems down the road, including back and neck pain. You can prevent these by using an ergonomic chair or actively paying attention to your posture until it becomes natural.
Why Posture Matters More Than Ever
People are spending more hours on the computer than ever before as they’re becoming a staple in our daily lives. Whether you’re working, gaming, watching shows or movies, or just browsing the internet, you’re likely doing so while sitting down.
Most of us already know that poor posture can lead to a large number of health problems over time. This includes everything from back and neck pain, rounded shoulders, spinal dysfunction, headaches, and even carpal tunnel syndrome. In other words, it’s important to be aware of your posture now so that you can prevent possible injuries from happening.
Not only will having good posture prevent pain and injuries, but it can also help improve your focus and concentration by increasing energy levels and circulation. You’ll feel a lot better in the long run if you continue to maintain good posture. It doesn’t take much effort but rather your attention to do so.
Why You Should Use an Ergonomic Chair
Before worrying about your posture, you’ll want to get yourself an ergonomic chair. These chairs are designed for you to sit with good posture without thinking about it. They allow your shoulders, hips, and spine to be properly aligned, supporting your entire body so that you don’t have to worry about slouching or hunching over.
If you decide to go with a regular chair over an ergonomic one, you’ll need to actively pay attention to your posture. This isn’t going to be easy as you’ll be occupied while on your computer. You might be able to maintain a good posture for a little while, but you might not notice when you start to slouch. This is why we highly recommend getting an ergonomic chair if possible.
The Best Posture
For those with an ergonomic chair, make the necessary adjustments until you can achieve the following posture. Afterward, all you have to do is sit down and lean back on the chair–it’s that easy! If you don’t have an ergonomic chair, here’s what to do.
Start by sitting in the center of your chair so that your hips evenly distribute your weight without leaning to one side.
Adjust your seat’s height until you can firmly plant your feet firmly on the ground. If you’re unable to do so, use a footrest. Your knees need to be bent at 90 degrees, and they should be even or just under your hips. Ensure your butt is touching the end of the seat while leaving a small 2-3 inch gap between the edge of the seat and the bottom of your thighs.
Now, recline your chair so that it’s at a 100-110 degree angle. The back of your chair while slightly reclined needs to keep your back straight to provide proper support. You should not be slouching forward at all. An ergonomic chair will have a lumbar to support your lower back.
Keep your shoulders pulled back, and with your neck and head upright. Ergonomics chairs usually have a headrest to support your neck. If your chair doesn’t have one, you need to actively keep your neck straight, ensure you’re not learning forward. Your ears should be aligned with your shoulders to ensure you aren’t doing so.
Adjust your chair’s armrests so they’re at the same height and around the height of your elbows. Your arms should sit comfortably at a 90-degree angle with your hands comfortably rested on your keyboard. When handling the mouse, control it from your shoulder instead of your wrist so that it remains straight.
Positioning Your Monitor or Laptop
For those on a desktop, start by positioning your monitor 20-30 inches away from your arms. Ensure you’re able to read the first line of text at eye level without feeling like you need to lean forward. Your neck must always remain in a neutral and upright position. For those who use multiple monitors, avoid turning your neck from screen to screen. Instead, turn your chair so your neck remains in a neutral position.
The problem for laptop users is that the screen and keyboard are attached to the same device. You need to look at your monitor at eye level, so the best way to achieve this is by using an external keyboard. Use your laptop screen and position it as described above while keeping your keyboard at arm level.
And that’s all there is to it! Remember to get up every 30-60 minutes to move around for a bit to keep your body from getting too stiff and slouchy. This helps to ensure you keep this good posture once you sit back down. With enough practice, you’ll naturally sit with good posture without thinking about it. However, it may take some time.
If you ever feel discomfort or pain, take a break and adjust your posture or position. There may be something that’s slightly off, so continue to make adjustments until everything feels natural and perfectly relaxed.