Finding you’re stiff and sore at the end of the day? If you are switching between slouching on the couch and slumping at the dinner table, then sadly, you are not alone. At Evolved Physio we see clients all the time presenting with pain and discomfort from poor habits relating to work postures. We want to help you avoid this, so follow along with our wonderful Physio Mandy Willis to find some useful tips on how to improve your desk posture when working (from home or in the office).
Let’s take you through our version of ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’…
o Are you looking down at your computer screen?
o Is your neck poking forward towards the screen?
o Our head should be upright over our shoulders
o Top of monitor should be at eye level
o Neck should be relaxed and in neutral position
o Do you have some old books laying around? Use a few of these to prop your laptop/monitor up. If not, an old shoe box should do the trick!
o Are you slouching forward?
o Are you sitting too close/far from your screen?
o Your screen should be roughly arm’s length away from your torso
o Your torso should be upright but relaxed
o Your forearms should be supported and close to the body
o Your elbows should be roughly sitting at right angles
o Move your chair to the position where your screen is arm’s length away
o Position your monitor/laptop further back to enable your forearms to rest on the table in front of you
o If you can, sit on a chair that has back support to ensure you’re relaxed but upright
o If you can, using a wireless keyboard and mouse can be a cheap and effective tool whilst working from a laptop.
o Ensure the keyboard is towards the front edge of the desk and that the mouse is alongside the keyboard. Remember we want to keep the forearms supported and close to the body and the elbows close to 90 degrees.
o Are your thighs parallel to the floor?
o Where are you positioned in your chair?
o Your thighs should be parallel to the floor
o Your bottom should be position into the back of the chair with hips roughly at right angles
o There should be roughly 2-3 fingers width distance between the back of your knee and the end of the chair
o Sitting on a dining chair or an office chair to provide best support
o Use cushions and towels to provide optimal support that is specific to your body
o Avoid sitting into deep sloping chairs such as your couch as they promote bad posture
o See the Evolved Physio post on chair modifications for ways you can optimise your chair set up
o Are your feet dangling off the ground?
o Your feet should be resting flat, either on the floor or on a footrest
o If you’re unable to reach the ground, place a couple of pillows or books under your feet so they can rest flat
Lastly, it is important that we break up periods of sitting down throughout a working day. Our bodies were designed to move – not to sit still. So set an alarm every hour to remind yourself to get out of your chair. Maybe do some stretches, make a cup of tea or walk around the house to get that blood flowing and the muscles moving. Your body will thank you for it!
Evolved Physio is a welcoming Physio Clinic located in Maribyrnong - Footscray. We service Melbourne's Inner West from out boutique clinic. Our personable and experienced Physio's will comprehensively assess and treat your injury in our 45 minute treatment sessions.
If you have any ongoing pain or would like some further information about how to improve your work environment, follow the link to book in for a consultation below: