Bugged by back pain after a day at your office desk?
You are not alone.
We often neglect our sitting postures and don't think too much about it when we encounter back pain every day. But did you know that when you are sitting in front of your screens for hours at one go, it is really easy to cause long-term strain to your back?
It is time to review the basics of what is the best desk posture and how we should be sitting to minimize and hopefully eliminate that dreaded back pain.
Monitor Screen Height
For desktop screens, the top of the monitor should ideally be at eye level. The monitor should be tilted up slightly so that you only need to move your eyes to see the entire screen. By minimizing the need for you to move your head forward or lower your neck to view the screen, our neck and shoulder muscles will not feel as tired at the end of the day.
As for laptop users, it may not be as straightforward to achieve this position. You will need to use a laptop stand to be able to fully benefit from this.
Distance from Monitor Screen
You should be seated about 1.5 - 2 feet away from the monitor screen. Personally, I would use the length of my arms to gauge and adjust to the distance accordingly. The tendency of leaning forward is reduced when you are seated at such a distance away from the monitor.
Positioning your Elbows, Forearms and Wrists
Try to keep your elbows at your side such that they are either at 90 degrees or slightly more. Position your forearms parallel to the floor and place your wrists on the keyboard in a manner that you do not have to move your elbow.
Sitting on the Chair
Move your pelvis forward slightly so that the hips are slightly more than 90 degrees to avoid sitting on your tailbone. You may still use the backrest, but try to keep it in this position.
There are some of you who tend to cross our legs when we sit, and that is something you should avoid doing. You should place both your feet flat on the floor. If the chair is too high and the height cannot be adjusted, get a foot rest or something like a box will do.
Take a Break
You will not be able to sustain your seating position for extended hours, so go take a break every 30 minutes or so. You can stretch your legs with your toes pointed out, get out of your seat and go walk around for a minute or so. This will help to relax your body muscles as well as relieve the eye strain associated with prolonged monitor usage.